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Small businesses might depend on the internet for productivity and sales, but unfettered access to the web can lead to serious cybersecurity incidents. Anything from malware downloads to phishing is common on the web, and employees unable to detect and identify malicious web applications are primary targets. Small businesses often think they aren’t a target, but actually, small businesses are the perfect target for cyber-criminals. The reduced security staff, monitoring and mitigation infrastructure, and lack of cybersecurity training make small businesses a profitable target for cyber-criminal groups.

Did You Know?


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What Threats Target Small Businesses?

A small business (SMB) often has a collection of data including customer information and personally identifiable information (PII) on employees. If the SMB collects financial information from customers, then it’s stored in a location that must follow compliance standards. Without the right security staff to ensure the protection of SMB data, the data is often stored insecurely with several vulnerabilities open for exploits.

Virtual exploits aren’t the only type of attack on an SMB system. The human element is also a vulnerability, and it’s usually the weakest link in any cybersecurity strategy. Social engineering is an effective way for threats to gain access to sensitive data. Social engineering combined with phishing email messages is another effective way for attackers to gain access to sensitive data. Even with virtual threats, most of them start with malicious email or social engineering strategies.

Phishing is one of the biggest threats to an SMB. A phishing email could contain a link to a malicious website, or it could carry a payload in a file attachment. Some phishing threats target specific people within the organization, but others send malicious payloads to as many people as possible within the organization. It only takes one person to fall for the threat to completely destroy data and productivity or allow an attacker to gain access to infrastructure to silently steal data.

Ransomware is another common threat, and it can put an SMB out of business. In a successful ransomware attack, a targeted user is tricked into running malware on their local machine. The ransomware scans the network for important files, encrypts them with an irreversible cryptographically secure cipher, and then displays a message demanding money to release access to files. Most security researchers tell SMBs not to pay the ransom, but a new way for cyber-criminals to extort money out of victims is to blackmail them with the exposure of their customers’ data. The implication is that exposing customer data will destroy SMB brand trust and cause additional strain on revenue.

Malicious web pages tricking employees into divulging sensitive information including their system credentials are another major threat to business continuity for SMBs. A sophisticated threat could land an attacker full remote control of an internal system, and it would be difficult to detect without the right monitoring solutions in place. Many of these attacks also start with phishing and social engineering.

Hear from our Customers

Simple, easy to use yet powerful web filter

What do you like best about WebTitan Web Filter? Deployment couldn't be easier and management is very straightforward. In the simplest form you just need to point your DNS forwarders to their DNS server and add your location IP to the portal. For roaming users or locations with a dynamic IP a lightweight agent is included for free. Active Directory integration adds user level reporting and the VM required is also included. Recommendations to others considering WebTitan Web Filter: Give their trial a go. You won't be disappointed. What problems is WebTitan Web Filter solving and how is that benefiting you? Primarily security. Blocking malware infected websites and links in phishing emails.

Ken B.

VP Professional Services

Excellent product thats so easy to use and manage.

What do you like best about WebTitan Web Filter? Excellent product that's so easy to use and manage. What do you dislike about WebTitan Web Filter? All the benefits outweigh the slight technical glitches. What problems is WebTitan Web Filter solving and how is that benefiting you? Restricts student access to unwanted sites easily.

Dave W.

Director of Training

Switching from Umbrella to WebTitan has saved us a lot of time

What do you like best about WebTitan Web Filter? The best part of WebTitan for us is the interface. Where the Umbrella interface had been ""modernized"" to make it more ""visually appealing"" it also made it very annoying to use for quick info. The WebTitan interface lets me login, check all the blocked traffic for the day, and log back out faster than I could even get the view filters set in Umbrella. Recommendations to others considering WebTitan Web Filter: If you want to log in quickly, check the blocklist, and get out without wasting a lot of time, this is great. You can start a trial to see if it works for you. What problems is WebTitan Web Filter solving and how is that benefiting you? The Umbrella interface had become so time-consuming to work with that we just stopped bothering unless there was an emergency. With WebTitan, the interface is so quick to navigate and scroll through the info I need that I have started logging in several times a day to check on things quickly. This has drastically improved our response time to potential issues with clients.

Todd R.

Director of IT

WEBTITAN CLOUD and the support teams are great. It is helping us a lot.

What do you like best about WebTitan Web Filter? The Webtitan is practical to move, what I like most is the speed in the synchronism of the users and the function of the Cloud Key. What problems is WebTitan Web Filter solving and how is that benefiting you? The only problem we are trying to solve is when the user takes another user's policy when he accesses it. But it happens to few.

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Best Web Filter we have used

What do you like best about WebTitan Web Filter? The ease of administration is huge. The categories are accurate, being able to filer policies via username or ip address. It's very easy to allow or block sites very quickly through the gui. Very little issues with the application. Recommendations to others considering WebTitan Web Filter: Web Titan has been the best web filter we've used, and prior to implementing we reviewed many other options. Never regretted our choice over the years we've utilized it. What problems is WebTitan Web Filter solving and how is that benefiting you? The ability to filter, control and log our users web traffic. This is required due to company policies.

Eric T.

I.T. Supervisor

Blocking Cybersecurity Threats Targeting SMBs with Content Filters

Most threats targeting SMBs are for monetary purposes, so it’s not uncommon for an SMB to experience several attacks every week. Most threats start with a phishing email. The phishing email contains a link to a malicious web page, usually created to look like a legitimate business website. Once the targeted victim enters credentials, the attacker uses them to authenticate into your system.

To fight these types of threats – and any threat that focuses on web-based technology – SMBs can install web content filters. Web content filters are the shields that protect users from falling victim to phishing. It’s best to have email cybersecurity that blocks malicious messages, but an added layer of security is always a good strategy. A good web content filter is an effective security layer that stops employees from accessing malicious websites.

WebTitan takes web content filtering a step further and uses DNS-based content filters. DNS is the protocol necessary on the internet to perform a lookup for the IP address associated with the friendly domain name. With DNS-based filtering, the domain is blocked when browsers perform the lookup. When the user clicks the malicious link, the browser performs the lookup using DNS, and WebTitan’s solution ensures that the domain is not listed as a malicious provider. If the domain is blacklisted, the user is unable to download anything from the malicious domain.

DNS-based content filtering is preferred over standard antivirus solutions. All SMB machines should have an antivirus installed, but DNS content filters stop employees from downloading malicious content and relying on the accuracy of an antivirus program. Should you use the former strategy, the malware will still install if the antivirus program does not block it. Zero-day threats are made to avoid antivirus detection, so it’s common for antivirus software to fail when a new sophisticated threat is released into the wild.

Blocking users from clicking malicious links in a phishing email isn’t the only advantage of DNS-based content filters. Any download triggered on a user’s computer would be blocked. Downloadable malware files also require a DNS lookup prior to accessing the file, so users would be unable to download files link in phishing email messages. Any web-based application built to trick users into divulging sensitive information is blocked with WebTitan DNS-based content filters.

Administrators can configure WebTitan to block other inappropriate content based on categories, so an SMB can block more than malicious content. Content that should not be accessed on a work computer can be blocked using WebTitan’s simple configuration dashboard. The WebTitan product runs in the cloud, so it’s also useful for managed service providers responsible for protecting customer environments.

Combining email cybersecurity with WebTitan web filtering reduces risk of phishing and social engineering to a fraction of what you currently have within your organization without them. Employee training is effective in reducing risk, but it still leaves your data protection to human intervention, which is proven to be a viable way to bypass security infrastructure. With WebTitan, employees are given an added layer of security so that your organization is much more secure from attackers.

Susan Morrow

Susan Morrow


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Talk to our Team today