Internet filtering software is a virtual appliance for blocking access to any unsafe Internet content that evades detection by your firewall. It is deployed on-site – or in your virtual infrastructure – and managed via a centralized web-based administration portal to give you complete control over the Internet content network users can access.
Internet filtering software is a popular online security mechanism for businesses of all sizes because of its ease of use and low maintenance overheads. It is usually compatible with all operating systems, scales up to tens of thousands of users, can be integrated with directory services such as Active Directory, and is updated in real time by the software provider.
How Internet Filtering Software Blocks Unsafe Internet Content
Each time a network user types in a website address or clicks on a link, the Internet filtering software checks the request to visit the website against databases of websites known to be harboring malware or ransomware, or created for the purpose of executing a phishing attack. These databases are always kept up-to-date to provide maximum network protection.
If the website contains encrypted content, a process known as SSL inspection decrypts the content so it can be scanned by antivirus software, checks the content against the software´s Internet access controls – which may prohibit the use of anonymizer services or certain file types – and then re-encrypts the content before delivering the website to the network user.
If the Internet content filter finds any unsafe or prohibited Internet content, access to the website is blocked and the network user receives a message explaining why. The blocking of the website is recorded by the filter, together with the reason access was blocked, and added to reports ordered by the network manager via the administration portal.
How Internet Filtering Software Controls User Internet Access
In addition to the mechanisms used to protect networks from malware, ransomware and phishing, Internet filters sort millions of web pages into categories depending on the nature of their content (adult entertainment, online gambling, etc.). Network managers can select which categories of Internet content they do not want network users to access and block the category with a click of a mouse.
Depending on the granularity of the filtering options, network managers can also control user Internet access by keyword, bandwidth and time. The controls can be applied to an individual user, a group of users or network-wide, providing the opportunity – for example – for a business to block access to social medial sites for all employees except those in the marketing department.
The facility to “whitelist” specific websites also exists on Internet filtering software. This facility enables trusted websites to bypass the software´s Internet access controls and facilitates access to websites that may be blocked via the category or keyword filters. This facility should be used with care in case a trusted website is later compromised due to a security vulnerability.
The Commercial Benefits of Internet Filtering Software
Whereas the avoidance of malware, ransomware and successful phishing attacks could justifiably be considered a commercial benefit of Internet filtering software, there are more obvious benefits. One of the most often-quoted commercial benefits of having complete Internet access control is the elimination of cyber-slacking in the workplace and the resulting increase in productivity.
Other workplace-related benefits include the elimination of cyber-bullying and other HR issues caused by employees being exposed to offensive or inappropriate online content, and – for business in regulated industries – real-time and historic monitoring of network Internet activity. This can be a real help in the compilation of risk assessments and enforcement of security policies.
By filtering Internet content, network users enjoy a more pleasant online experience. For businesses in the hospitality industry that offer a WiFi service to customers, visitors and guests, this can result in an increase in trade – as it has for McDonalds and Starbucks. The historic monitoring of network Internet activity can also be used to tailor marketing promotions that appeal to customers´ interests.
WebTitan Gateway Internet Filtering Software from SpamTitan
WebTitan Gateway from SpamTitan has been developed to provide maximum protection against web-borne threats, maximum ease-of-use, and maximum granularity to control user Internet access. Using the latest SURBL and URIBL filters and dual anti-virus software, WebTitan Gateway is one of the most robust Internet filtering software solutions on the market today.
WebTitan Gateway typifies low maintenance filtering solutions. Our Internet filtering software auto configures, auto updates, and has an automated back-up and restore function. It has a full diagnostic tool set to troubleshoot network issues, a policy violation alert system, supports multiple administrative roles and has a granular policy engine with fifty-three preset categories and ten customizable categories.
If you would like to find out more about WebTitan Gateway from SpamTitan, or would like to take advantage of a free trial of our Internet filtering software, do not hesitate to get in touch. Our team of Sales Technicians will be happy to answer any questions you have and explain more about WebTitan Gateway with relevance to your specific circumstances.
WebTitan Gateway from SpamTitan can give you complete Internet access control to protect your network from malware, ransomware and phishing. Why not try it today and see how it can enhance your online security?