Using a Web Blocker to Restrict Internet Access

A web blocker is typically an Internet filter used by businesses and organizations to defend against online threats such as malware, ransomware and phishing. Filters to block web access have also been used by businesses to prevent employees engaging in non work-related online activities or viewing online content that would be considered offensive by colleagues.

Organizations and businesses in the service industry (bars, restaurants, hotels, etc.) also use a web blocker to restrict Internet access and prevent customers and guests viewing online material that would be considered inappropriate in a family environment. This not only makes for a more pleasant environment, but gives businesses who use filters to block web access a competitive advantage.

Issues with Filters to Block Web Access

In the past, filters to block web access have had their issues. They were inflexible, complicated and – in the case of hardware filters – had a high capital outlay. The inflexibility of filters to block web access resulted in schools preventing students from accessing educational material, while many businesses had to make compromises to ensure they were adequately protected against online threats.

The arrival of software filters resolved many of the issues, but one still remained – that of SSL inspection. SSL inspection is used to decrypt, read and re-encrypt the content of encrypted websites to ensure they comply with acceptable use policies. As more and more websites encrypt their pages, the load on CPU resources can slow Internet speeds and other web-based activities such as email.

At SpamTitan, we have been developing filters to block web access since 2009. We understand the importance of a fast, filtered, Internet service, and our software filters to block web access now include a whitelisting feature that allows business-critical web pages and apps to bypass the web blocker – reducing the load on CPU resources and eliminating the need for compromises.

We have also developed a cloud-based web blocker that performs the SSL inspection process on our servers, rather than our clients´ servers. This eliminates the load on CPU resources completely at the client end – enabling businesses and organizations who use SpamTitan´s “WebTitan” filters to block web access to enjoy a flexible and easy to use filtered Internet service with imperceptible latency.

WebTitan from SpamTitan: Flexible and Easy to Use

Each WebTitan web blocker comprises of three filtering mechanisms that work together to give maximum flexibility while providing maximum protection against malware and ransomware attacks.

  • The first mechanism checks each request to visit a website against databases of websites known to harbor malware, fake websites constructed to execute phishing attacks, sources of spam emails and ransomware attacks, and websites who hide their true identity behind the whois privacy feature or proxy servers.
  • Secondly, category filters prevent users visiting websites within pre-selected categories that that are considered counter-productive or inappropriate (abortion, adult entertainment, alternative beliefs, alcohol, etc.). Each WebTitan web blocker has fifty-three preset and eight customizable categories for administrators to choose from.
  • The third mechanism – keyword filters – blocks access to websites containing words or web applications that are considered counter-productive or inappropriate, and websites containing the file types most commonly associated with malware downloads. Administrators also select which words, apps or file types to block according to acceptable use policies.

Organizations and businesses using our filters to block web access do not have to worry about maintaining the WebTitan web blocker beyond selecting which category and keyword filters they want to apply. The blacklists of unsafe websites, the phishing protection software and antivirus software are all updated by us in real time. We also update each category as new websites are published.

The filtering parameters – and which user groups they apply to – are managed via a centralized, web-based portal. On the software-based WebTitan web blocker, the portal is also where administrators can whitelist business-critical web pages and apps, observe web activity in real time and order historic activity reports to assist with risk assessments and identify any new threats.

A further benefit of WebTitan filters to block web access is the cost. As we only developed software-based and cloud-based filters to block web access, there are no capital outlays, and the competitive cost of licenses to use our software or cloud services is determined by the number of users that will connect to the web blocker, the deployment option chosen (see below), and the frequency of payment.

How Will You Deploy Your WebTitan Web Blocker?

How you choose to deploy your WebTitan web blocker will depend on your specific requirements. For example, larger organizations and businesses maybe better suited to WebTitan Gateway – a powerful virtual appliance that can be deployed as an ISO directly behind the firewall of any hardware or virtual infrastructure.

The deployment of our cloud-based web blocker – WebTitan Cloud – requires a simple redirection of the DNS server settings. There is no on premise software or end user client software required and, as with WebTitan Gateway, our cloud-based web blocker can support up to 60,000 users without any loss of Internet speed.

A third option is WebTitan Cloud for WiFi. WebTitan Cloud for WiFi is best suited to organizations and businesses that operate a wireless network or encourage a BYOD policy. WebTitan Cloud for WiFi protects single WiFi access points and networks of multiple WiFi hotspots with the same flexibility and ease of use as WebTitan Gateway and WebTitan Cloud.

Try a WebTitan Web Blocker for Free

If you would like to protect your network from online threats, prevent users from engaging in non work-related activities and viewing inappropriate online material, get in touch and ask our industry-leading team of Sales Technicians about our free trial of WebTitan´s filters for blocking web access. Our Sales Technicians will discuss your requirements with you and suggest which may the most appropriate WebTitan web blocker for your specific circumstances.

You will be under no obligation to continue using our service at the end of the free trial. However, if you chose to proceed using our filters to block web access, the free trial period will give you sufficient time to find your optimum filter settings and no further configuration will be required. Naturally, if you have any questions about deployment and configuration before starting your free trial, we will be happy to answer them.