An Internet content filter has two primary objectives – to protect networks and the devices connected to them from web-borne threats such as malware, phishing and spyware, and to prevent users from accessing online material that is harmful, inappropriate or in breach of acceptable use policies.
In order to achieve its objectives effectively, an Internet content filter should be easy-to-use, versatile and have SSL inspection to examine the content of encrypted websites. If the filtering solution lacks any of these features, it could result in gaps appearing in a company´s online defenses.
Why Ease-of-Use is an Important Consideration
If an Internet content filter is too complicated to use, companies will often leave its default settings as they are and possibly block access to necessary or demanded online locations. It has already been seen in schools how network managers have struggled with the complexities of some Internet filtering solutions and blocked access to educational material and teenage support groups.
The same scenario could occur in any company that does not have a dedicated IT team – potentially with the consequence that filtering parameters are set too low and provide a backdoor for cybercriminals. Even in larger companies, ease-of-use should be an important consideration so that IT resources are not used to manage Internet filtering solutions, and can focus on more business-critical tasks.
Why Versatility is Necessary for Effective Filtering
All Internet filtering solutions should have the versatility to allow access to websites and applications where necessary. For example, a marketing department may not be able to function effectively if access to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is blocked to prevent other employees from cyber-slacking. The same would apply if a procurements department was denied access to online shopping websites.
In order to be versatile, an Internet content filter should be able to filter the Internet by user, user group or department. Key employees should be allowed access to specific applications so that their roles can performed efficiently, while still maintaining a robust defense against online threats. The filter should also have comprehensive reporting facilities to identify any abuse of privilege.
The Importance of Filtering Encrypted Websites
Ever since Google announced it would elevate “secure” https websites in its Search Engine Results Pages, the majority of the world´s most visited web pages have been encrypted. Most social media sites now use encryption to keep their members´ personal details private, meaning that Internet filtering solutions without SSL inspection are unable to read them and allow access to the websites by default.
Anybody can get an SSL certificate and https prefix for their website – including cybercriminals. If an Internet content filter is unable to read the content of an infected website because it is encrypted, cybercriminals can walk straight through a company´s online defenses to deploy malware, ransomware and spyware, and the company´s employees are more likely to fall victim to phishing attacks.
Implementing the Best Internet Content Filter with SSL Inspection
One small problem exists with SSL inspection – the filter uses a small amount of CPU power to read the content of encrypted websites. In many companies, this will not be a problem. But, in larger companies with thousands of employees accessing the web simultaneously, SSL inspection can slow down the delivery of web pages and the speed at which online applications run.
The solution to this problem is to implement an Internet content filter that offers a “whitelisting” facility. When a secure website or app is added to the list, it is allowed to bypass the Internet content filter. This process ensures that Internet filtering solutions with SSL inspection do not use up CPU memory and affect network performance.
WebTitan Internet Filtering Solutions from SpamTitan
SpamTitan offers a choice of three Internet filtering solutions – WebTitan Gateway, WebTitan Cloud, and WebTitan Cloud for WiFi. Each can be deployed within minutes, has an auto-configuration feature to apply default settings immediately, and an easy-to-use interface for network administrators to apply bespoke settings according to the company´s specific requirements.
The three WebTitan Internet filtering solutions are incredibly versatile. Different roles can be created for policy managers, reporting managers and administration managers, and entire company structures created using AD and LDAP integration. Thereafter acceptable use policies can be applied to individual users, user groups or the company as a whole, and alerts set up to advise of attempted policy violations.
If all of that sounds complicated, it´s not. WebTitan has been developed over many years taking feedback from our clients into account. It is one of the simplest Internet filtering solutions to use on the market, yet versatile and able to prevent threats from encrypted websites using SSL inspection with imperceptible latency. Furthermore, we invite you to try WebTitan for free.
Try a WebTitan Internet Content Filter Free for Thirty Days
Our free trial offer enables companies to evaluate the merits of WebTitan free for thirty days. This should give most companies the time to find their optimal filter settings so that no re-configuration is necessary when the trial period comes to an end – assuming your company wants to continue being protected from web-borne threats.
To take advantage of this offer, simply contact us today. One of our team of Sales Technicians will answer any questions you have about Internet filtering solutions before discussing your requirements with you to determine the most appropriate Internet content filter for your situation. You will then be guided through the quick registration and software download/DNS redirection procedures.
No credit cards are required and there are no contracts to sign in order to take advantage of this opportunity. If you encounter any problems at all our industry-leading customer and technical support teams are on hand to provide a helping hand and, at the end of the free trial, we offer a range of competitive pricing plans to suit all budgets.