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There is an increasing trend of providing digital services over the cloud in a subscription-based service modality. Cloud-based web filtering on the commercial level brings benefits such as scalability, centralized management, cost-effectiveness, and security.  This service proves to be a great value add for commercial clients. The logic is this: why take web filtering off the table when MSPs already cover IT and cybersecurity management?

Pornography, gambling, and violence are the most common filter categories that companies block on all employee devices. Of course, more sophisticated filtering is also on offer. WebTitan’s web filter uses a domain name system (DNS) to filter websites and online content. It includes pre-loaded filters that can be customized to suit the company’s specific requirements.

What Is Cloud-based Web Filtering?

As the name suggests, it involves using a cloud-based tool (via subscription) to restrict access to content on the web. It blocks URLs, IP addresses, content types, keywords, and more that may be deemed risky or counter-productive to the employees of an organization.

The level of control and restrictions for these filters can be tailored based on the organization's and its users' needs.

Cloud-based web filtering is the latest (fifth) iteration in the evolution of web filtering with humble beginnings. Its chronological evolution is as follows:

  1. URL filtering based on simplistic lists of blocked websites.
  2. Content filtering based on keywords and categories, such as adult content or gambling sites.
  3. Application Control that filters content through and across applications, such as instant messaging or P2P file sharing.
  4. Advanced Threat Protection with techniques such as sandboxing, deep packet inspection, and machine learning to detect and block threats in real-time.

Cloud-based web filtering packs all the capabilities of these previous generations for robust systems.

Did You Know?

72%

businesses experienced a DNS attack

60,000

malware & spyware domains categorised a day

53

predefined categories by default

7%

of websites tested by Google for malware were infected

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud-based Web Filtering

Cloud-based filtering can scale through as many endpoints and devices as needed. Such scalability is crucial for steadily growing businesses. MSPs and IT professionals can monitor and manage web filtering policies from a central location while doing away with expensive hardware and ongoing maintenance.

Further, up-to-date security features and frequent software updates of cloud-based web filtering tools help organizations stay protected against new threats.

That said, cloud-based web filtering may not be everyone’s cup of tea. For starters, these systems rely on an active internet connection, which means disrupted services during outages. Organizations dealing with sensitive data may not be keen on routing all information and traffic to unfamiliar cloud environments in the name of filtering.

Such systems also require quite a bit of specialized knowledge and expertise—this is where experienced and reliable MSPs come in.

Unlock Superior Cloud-based Web Filtering with WebTitan DNS Filter

WebTitan DNS Filter includes the following features:

  • Compatible with all operating systems.
  • No restrictions on the number of devices and users that can connect to the network.
  • No latency or bandwidth restrictions
  • SSL inspection for filtering encrypted websites.
  • Integration with LDAP and Active Directory.
  • Multiple deployment options: as a hosted web filter, in a private cloud, or on-premise.

The WebTitan DNS filter features AI-powered protection against phishing URLs, including zero-minute threats. This allows MSPs to quickly identify malicious threats in real-time at scale and top-notch accuracy.

Companies can list and download DNS request history and manage their filter remote access logs via APIs. WebTitan also minimizes compromised business email accounts.

Interactive reporting based on the prowess of data visualization is another critical differentiator of WebTitan, which MSPs can wholly leverage as a white-label solution. It can also filter based on user behavior, security, and trends.

Through a simplistic user interface on WebTitan, companies can even add exceptions to OTG devices and USB drives and reroute around resorting to JSON Config filters for the purpose.

By defining flexible policies, companies and MSPs can meet their obligations to provide secure connectivity within any environment or under various considerations.

"In the digital age, compliance, security, employee productivity, network performance, and data and brand protection are imperative for enterprises of all sizes"

Book a Free WebTitan Demo

In the digital age, compliance, security, employee productivity, network performance, and data and brand protection are imperative for enterprises of all sizes. And so, the importance of a holistic cloud-based web filtering solution like WebTitan cannot be overemphasized.

Book a free WebTitan demo to see firsthand how you can augment the web access experience of your clients. We have a purpose-built roll-out of WebTitan designed exclusively for MSPs. Witness how WebTitan works and how this platform with a user-friendly UI stops targeted threats and safeguards your data. Perhaps most importantly, you can easily observe how an industry-leading customer support structure backs it.

Explore possibilities to make the best use of our competitive pricing model.

FAQs

What is a DNS filter?

DNS filtering is a method of web filtering that uses the Domain Name System (DNS) to control user access to websites and other online content. All web requests are redirected through a DNS server that is specifically configured for filtering. The server inspects each request and compares it against a list of predefined policies and rules, determining whether access to the requested website should be allowed or blocked.

DNS filtering is often used as an alternative to traditional firewall-based filtering. It is comparatively simpler to implement and can protect against malicious or inappropriate content without requiring additional hardware or software.

A cloud-based DNS filter is a service hosted on the cloud and managed by a third-party provider. In this setup, the filtering policies and rules are managed by the provider (MSP), and all internet traffic is redirected through their servers for filtering.

What to look for in a cloud-based web filter solution?

  • Accuracy and efficacy
  • Customization and flexibility
  • Ease of deployment and management
  • Scalability
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Comprehensive support
  • Integration with other security solutions

WebTitan delivers all these and more. Take satisfied customers’ word for it. With many 5-star independent reviews, WebTitan’s most high-profile clients include Microsoft, Virgin Media, and Comcast, to name a few.

It provides high-level DNS-layer threat protection against malware, phishing, ransomware, spyware, botnets, and viruses. It has become the de facto web security and protection layer for over 12,000 businesses.

Susan Morrow

Susan Morrow

  • DNS FILTERING
  • WEB FILTERING
  • CONTENT FILTERING

Talk to our Team today

Talk to our Team today

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a DNS filter?

DNS filtering is a method of web filtering that uses the Domain Name System (DNS) to control user access to websites and other online content. All web requests are redirected through a DNS server that is specifically configured for filtering. The server inspects each request and compares it against a list of predefined policies and rules, determining whether access to the requested website should be allowed or blocked. 

What to look for in a cloud-based web filter solution?

If you're looking for a cloud-based web filter solution, organizations should consider the following in their decision making process: Accuracy and efficacy, Customization and flexibility, Ease of deployment and management, Scalability Reporting, and analytics, Comprehensive support, Integration with other security solutions.

What is cloud-based web filtering?

Cloud-based web filtering blocks specific content (e.g., gaming or adult content) from loading into the user's browser. This stops employees and contractors from accessing inappropriate content using company network resources. Inappropriate websites or those with malicious content threaten your organization's data privacy and business continuity. Administrators can control employees browsing habits and also block users from loading malicious web pages after clicking a link in phishing emails.

What is on-premise web filtering solution?

On-premises web filtering solutions could be more convenient and easier to upgrade. Instead of the massive overhead necessary to maintain and upgrade an on-premises web filtering solution, a cloud web filtering solution offers global coverage for all enterprise offices and a more convenient way for administrators to keep it updated. As it's in the cloud, any user can be connected to the web filtering solution, at-home or remote employees. Web-based filtering solutions are much more flexible.

Is a hosted web filter better than an on-premises?

Hosted web filter solutions make it much easier to manage. There are no hardware configurations and maintenance required. The solution runs in a cloud provider's data center, which can be quickly deployed without expensive hardware and installation on-premises. A hosted web filter solution runs in the cloud, so it can be deployed for large enterprises with global offices without affecting performance and availability. Any remote or roaming employees can connect to cloud resources.

Is cloud-based content filtering effective?

Leaving business users with unfettered internet browsing access adds tremendous risk to your cybersecurity posture. A cloud-based content filtering solution blocks malicious web pages, inappropriate content, or non-business-related pages that should not be accessible from the corporate network.. It protects businesses from malicious pages used to phish for employee credentials and blocks drive-by downloads used to install malware on a corporate workstation. It reduces risks of security threats.

What features are available with cloud-based web content filtering solutions?

You should deploy a web content filtering solution with features to support your business requirements. A few features available in WebTitan products are crucial to enterprise-level data protection and cybersecurity: 1. Blocks web pages before users can query and retrieve data from the domain. 2. Hosted in the cloud - easy to deploy. 3. Flexible configurations to meet compliance & business requirements. 

What does a cloud-based content filter block?

A content filter solution blocks malicious web pages, phishing pages, drive-by malware downloads, and any domain that hosts questionable content. It also blocks adult-related or gaming content that might not be appropriate for a business environment. WebTitan is a DNS-based filtering solution that blocks malicious domains during a query on a nameserver.  This step happens when a user types a URL into their web browser or an application performs a lookup to find the IP address for a domain name. 

Does a cloud web filtering service block phishing and malware?

Instead of giving employees unfettered access to the internet, businesses need a cloud web filtering service to block malicious content. Phishing is one of the most common methods in cyber-attacks, but companies can block users from accessing web pages in an email message's embedded links. Users that fall for a phishing link might click the link, but they won't be able to see the web page. WebTitan blocks malicious URLs included in phishing attacks.

Do cloud web filtering solutions block ransomware?

Cloud web filtering solutions like WebTitan block access at the DNS level, so the business uses fewer network resources to block malicious domains. Because it's in the cloud, administrators can more easily maintain it. Hence, cloud web filtering solutions block users from accessing the domain and the file from phishing emails that include malware and ransomware. 

Does WebTitan perform cloud-based URL filtering?

WebTitan cloud-based URL filtering solution blocks domains and malicious web pages based on threat intelligence and other sources of information. Combined with SpamTitan, WebTitan reduces the data breach risks from users clicking on embedded links in a malicious email message and browsing sites that host questionable content. An excellent cloud-based URL filtering solution blocks at the DNS level, so users can't bypass filtering technology.

Who manages a web filtering cloud service?

When you deploy a web filtering cloud service like WebTitan, the product is maintained on the backend and requires very little interaction from business administrators. Cloud-based web filtering services are more easily deployed across large enterprise environments because they can be hosted in data centers accessible globally. Administrators must configure the filtering solution, but most out-of-the-box configurations are adequate for businesses. WebTitan blocks malware and ransomware.