Internet filtering software is usually installed as a virtual appliance that is used to block access to any unsafe Internet content and webpages that violate your Intrnet usage policies. It is deployed on-site – or within your virtual infrastructure – and managed via a centralized web-based administration portal, giving you full 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 overhead. 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.
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 against databases of websites – real-time blackhole lists (RBLs) – that include websites known to be used for malicious purposes such as phishing or distributing malware or ransomware. These databases are constantly updated to include recently created malicious webpages.
If the website contains encrypted content, a process known as SSL inspection decrypts the content so it can be scanned by antivirus software and the content will be checked against user defined policies, and the content will then be re-encrypted before the user is allowed to view the content.
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 why access was blocked, and that information is available to administrators through 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.). Administrators can select which categories of Internet content they do not want network users to access and block those categories with a click of a mouse.
Depending on the granularity of the filtering options, administrators can also control user Internet access by keyword. It may also be possible to apply time-based controls to restrict access to certain types of website during busy times to prevent cyberslacking or to limit bandwidth use. The controls can be applied for an individual user, a group of users, or organization-wide. These granular controls mean you can block access to social medial sites for all employees except those in the marketing department, for example.
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 by hackers and malicious content is uploaded.
The Commercial Benefits of Internet Filtering Software
Preventing malware, ransomware and phishing attacks is one of the most important benefits of Internet filtering software. Cyberattacks on businesses are increasing and end users are often targeted. The majority of data breaches start with a phishing email, and internet filtering software provides an additional level of protection against phishing attacks. If an email bypasses your spam filter, internet filtering software provides time-of-click protection and can prevent the user from visiting a malicious website.
One of the most often-quoted commercial benefits of having complete Internet access control is the elimination of cyber-slacking in the workplace, which allows employers to make significant productivity gains. Other workplace-related benefits include the prevention of cyber-bullying and other HR issues that can easily arise from failing to prevent employees from accessing offensive or inappropriate online content.
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, providing a filtered Internet service can help to attract more customers. McDonalds and Starbucks received considerable criticism for failing to provide a family-friendly Internet service, and many parents boycotted the businesses until they agreed to implement an internet content control solution that blocked pornography. Since content control solutions record the websites that users visit, that information can be extremely valuable to business owners. They can see the sites their customers visit and can use that information in future ad campaigns and to tailor their marketing efforts.
WebTitan Gateway Internet Filtering Software from SpamTitan
WebTitan Gateway from TitanHQ has been developed to provide maximum protection against web-based threats, has been developed to be easy to use and maintain, and offers a high degree of granularity to allow precision control over Internet activities. 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 TitanHQ, 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 TitanHQ can give you complete Internet control and will protect your network from malware, ransomware and phishing attacks. Why not try it today and see how it can enhance online security?