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Web Filtering Solutions

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Web Filtering Solutions

In 2020, Google identified over 2 million malicious websites. Each of these websites poses potential harm to a company. These sites are designed to steal data, including login credentials, and can install malware onto vulnerable devices. Often, malicious websites are associated with phishing emails containing links to the site: the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) recorded the highest number of phishing attempts in Q1 2022, with over 1 million attacks in that quarter. 

One of the most effective ways to prevent an employee from navigating to a malicious website is to use a web filtering solution.

How do Web Content Filters Work?

Web content filtering solutions prevent employees and other individuals, such as children, from accessing malicious websites. The web filter stops the browser from loading the blocked website or URL pages. There are web filters designed for consumer use and enterprise-level web content filters.

Web content filtering solutions apply several mechanisms:

Whitelists and Blacklists

Blacklists are used to block specific URLs. The backlists are populated manually or using third-party systems. Whitelists allow access to URLs or domains deemed acceptable for employee use by an organization.

Category Filtering

A web filtering solution places websites into categories based on the web content. An administrator can then use the web filtering admin interface to set which content categories must be blocked. Examples of inappropriate content are pornography, gambling and gaming sites, and social media platforms.

Dynamic Content Analysis

Advanced web content filters use crowd-sourced streams of URLs for analysis using machine learning algorithms. This facilitates the dynamic identification of malicious threats in real-time. Real-time analysis is essential as threats continue to evolve.

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What Security Attacks do Web Filters Help to Prevent?

The best web content filtering solutions will help to prevent successful phishing attacks. Phishing comes in many forms, including emails, social media posts, and mobile device messages (including SMS texts). These phishing attempts typically have either a link in the message or an attachment containing a link. If an employee clicks on this link, it will take them to the malicious website.

The malicious website usually attempts to:

Steal data: the site typically presents fields requesting the employee enter data. This could be personal, financial, login credentials, and company data.

Install malware: some phishing sites are designed to infect the device used to access the website with malware.

By removing access to the malicious website, an organization reduces its risk of a variety of cyberattacks, including:

Ransomware infection: malicious websites can be used to infect vulnerable devices with ransomware. The infection then propagates throughout the network, encrypting and stealing data before attempting to extort large sums of money from a business. 

Business Email Compromise (BEC): malicious websites can be used to gather data about an employee or company. These data are then used as part of a social engineering campaign that ultimately leads to money being illegitimately transferred to a cybercriminal’s bank account.

Data theft: malicious websites are often used to steal login credentials. The phishing site will be designed to look exactly like a known and trusted site, such as a Microsoft Office 365 login page. Once an employee lands on the malicious website, they will be asked to enter their login credentials, which are then stolen by a cybercriminal. Once the cybercriminal has the login credentials, they can then use them to log into enterprise apps. Cybercriminals also use tactics such as lateral movement to increase their ability to access sensitive data.

The best web filtering solutions also help to enforce a company’s Accessible Use Policy (AUP). This, in turn, helps to optimize bandwidth use and improve productivity.


What Happens if an Employee Navigates to a Malicious Website?

With a web filter in place: If an employee clicks on a link in a phishing email or message, the web filter will block them from navigating to a malicious website. Instead, the web filter will display a notice explaining why the site is blocked. This averts malware infection and data theft.

Without a web filter in place: if the employee clicks on a link in a phishing email or message and no web filter is present, they will land on a malicious website. This website may steal data and login credentials or begin installing malware on the user's device. Either way, an organization is placed at high risk. If the employee realizes what they have done and reports the incident, the organization will have to begin a process to remediate the potential cyber-attack immediately.

Discover how WebTitan, Web Filtering Solution works to filter websites.

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Features of the Best Web Content Filtering Solutions 

When choosing a web content filtering solution, an organization should look for advanced features, including:

Cloud-based service: some web content filtering solutions are based on hardware devices. However, cloud-based web filters are increasingly popular for their ease of deployment and maintenance. Cloud-based web content filters are ideal for both end clients and for Managed Service Providers (MSPs).

AI-powered analysis of threats: an effective "threat corpora" requires millions of end users to supply the data for threat analysis. These threat corpora train machine learning algorithms to spot patterns and trends that identify threats - this even applies to emerging threats such as Zero Day/ Zero Minute threats that have not yet been added to known phishing blacklists. This level of protection is essential in a threat landscape that changes by the minute.

Other essential features of the best web content filtering solutions include:

  • Ability to quickly deploy across distributed devices, including at remote locations
  • Ease of update and maintenance across distributed devices
  • Excellent reporting facility
  • Little or no friction in use by end users


How does a Cloud-Based Web Filter Benefit an MSP?

A cloud-based web filter offers an MSP:

  • Fast and simple deployment to a client from a central console
  • Private, scalable, multi-tenant clouds in the UK, in AWS and are fast. Private IP with secondary backup.
  • Centralized management, maintenance, and admin
  • Designed to be cost-effective
  • Exceptional accuracy with real-time LIVE updating of malware and malicious threats.
  • Powerful reporting
  • Integration with Azure

Discover how WebTitan Cloud Web Filter works to protect your business from advanced security threats.

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What is WebTitan Web Filtering?

WebTitan is a cloud-based web content filtering solution that is simple and quick to set up while also allowing for scale and eliminating latency. As a result, it is an ideal web content filter for end clients and MSP deployment.

In contrast to many DNS-based systems, which only work at the domain level, WebTitan works at the path level and is capable of blocking individual web pages rather than entire domains. As a result, most malicious URLs in the WebTitan database are marked as malicious at the path level – 99.7% of IP-based URLs and 88.35% of non-IP-based URLs.

Features of WebTitan

Scalable and fast: handles any usage volume with no latency

Smart analysis: uses a threat corpus based on data from 650 million individuals. These data are then analyzed using machine learning algorithms to ensure that the latest threats are included in the web content filter engine and blocked.

Real-time threat protection: offers real-time threat protection that is fast and accurate.

Prevents phishing: AI-Powered Protection Against Active and Emerging Phishing URLs including Zero-Minute Threats.

Advanced reporting: produces in-depth reports for company analytics and performance.

Exceptional support: comes with support from a renowned support team.

To experience the power of WebTitan sign up for a demo or free trial today.

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