Web content filtering software is increasingly being implemented in many different scenarios to mitigate the risk of web-borne threats, protect users from exposure to inappropriate content, and – in a business environment – to prevent cyber-slacking and enforce acceptable use policies.
Several factors influence the effectiveness of Internet content filtering. Some Internet content filters are too inflexible. In school environments, software lacking flexibility has been blamed for students not being able to access credible sex education material or teenage support groups.
In the service industry, restauranteurs and hoteliers have been unable to understand the complexity of some web content filtering software; resulting in ineffective configuration and backdoors being left open for cybercriminals. The same could apply in any industry without experienced IT professionals.
However, one of the most important factors influencing the effectiveness of Internet content filtering is SSL inspection – the process whereby the encrypted content of a website is read by the web content filtering software to ensure it conforms to filtering policies before allowing access to the end user.
Why is SSL Inspection so Important?
Encrypted websites have been around since 1995. They were first developed to transact online credit card payments securely, and could be identified by the https//: prefix for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol with Secure Socket Layer (SSL). The secure padlock symbol was added later.
Secure sites were issued with an SSL certificate by a Certification Authority. These were meant to ensure the content of websites with an https//: could be trusted, as the web content filtering software available at the time could not read their content and would automatically allow access to encrypted websites.
Until recently this was not a problem. However, in the last few years it has become apparent that cybercriminals have acquired fake SSL certificates, and that their encrypted, malware-infected websites have evaded detection by standard web content filtering software.
The problem has been compounded by popular websites such as Facebook encrypting their websites to protect the privacy of their users, and Google giving a higher rating to encrypted websites in their Search Engine Results pages. Now more than half of all website pages are encrypted.
Internet Content Filtering Software with SSL Inspection
Some Internet content filtering software with SSL inspection is not as effective as others. The reason for this is that SSL inspection can be a drain on CPU power and memory if multiple users are trying to access the Internet or use “secure” web-based apps simultaneously.
The way to overcome this potential issue is to “whitelist” secure websites and secure apps that are frequently used and trusted to be secure. The filters will allow access to these websites and apps without putting them through the filtering process.
In addition to whitelisting secure websites, it is also possible to manually blacklist secure websites. This feature could be used to eliminate access to productivity-sapping gaming, holiday and online shopping websites – all of which are usually “secure” sites, but that could also harbor malware.
In order to achieve this level of granularity an Internet content filtering solution needs to have the flexibility to block access to unnecessary websites, applications and file types, while allowing specific online activity. For the sake of restauranteurs and hoteliers everywhere, it needs to be easy to use.
WebTitan´s Web Content Filtering Software
WebTitan from SpamTitan is a leading web content filtering solution that has been developed over many years with maximum flexibility and ease-of-use as its priorities. Using a three-tiered filtering mechanism, WebTitan effectively mitigates the risk of web-borne threats, protects users from exposure to inappropriate content, and prevents cyber-slacking in the simplest way possible.
Our web content filtering software is easy to manage via a web-based dashboard with an intuitive interface. Using the dashboard, system managers can create administrative roles and user groups, and define acceptable use policies. Larger organizations can take advantage of Active Directory/LDAP integration and a policy violation alert system to advise of possible abuse of the network.
WebTitan is not only easy-to-use, but easy to deploy. We offer a choice of fast deployment options depending on your needs, and whether or not you offer a wireless network for your end-users. An auto-configuration feature ensures that whatever deployment option you choose, you will be up and running in minutes.
All of our deployment options are scalable to thousands of users, and - of course - all have SSL inspection capabilities as standard. Furthermore, because of WebTitan´s global presence, if you ever encounter any difficulties setting the filtering parameters or using any of the software´s features, assistance is always at hand from our industry-leading helpdesk.
Try Web Content Filtering with SSL Inspection for Free
If you would like to try our flexible and easy-to-use web content filtering software with SSL inspection, do not hesitate to get in touch. Out team of friendly Sales Technicians will help determine the best WebTitan deployment option for your particular circumstances, guide you through the process of creating a free account and help you get started with web content filtering with SSL inspection.
Our free trial lasts for thirty days, after which time a range of competitive pricing plans is available to suit your specific needs. Naturally, if you have any questions about web content filtering with SSL inspection, we will be happy to answer them before you start your free trial of WebTitan - the most effective, flexible and easy-to-use defense against web-borne threats.