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Web filtering software prevents end users from visiting websites known to contain malware or exploit kits and blocks botnet activity and communications with hackers’ C&C servers. The software can also be configured to also block malicious third party adverts on websites (malvertising).
Antivirus and antimalware software are required to detect malicious software that has been downloaded, but it is now important for enterprise web filtering software to be installed. Enterprise web filtering software is an invaluable protection against a wide range of web-borne threats. Rather than allowing malware and ransomware to be downloaded, enterprise web filtering software prevents end-users from visiting websites that contain these malicious threats.
Web filtering software is also one of the most effective ways to neutralize the threat from phishing. Phishing is a technique used by cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive user information. Phishers trick end users into revealing login credentials or downloading malicious software onto their computers.
Phishing involves sophisticated social engineering techniques to fool end users into visiting malicious websites. If employees can be convinced to reveal sensitive information or download ransomware or malware, cybercriminals can easily bypass even the most sophisticated of cybersecurity defenses.
Organizations in heavily regulated industries such as the U.S. healthcare industry face stiff financial penalties for failing to prevent malware infections. In November 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights fined the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) $650,000 for allowing malware to be introduced onto its network.
Blocking access to malicious websites is now the primary reason for implementing a web filter; although there are many other benefits that can be gained from filtering the Internet. Enterprise web filtering software can be used to carefully control the web content that can be accessed by employees. By preventing employees from accessing certain categories of website – dating, gambling, and gaming websites for example – employers can dramatically improve productivity.
Filters can be configured to block web pages by category, URLs, or keywords. Employers may choose to block pornography by category while restricting access to discriminatory website content using keywords. These controls are important to avoid the development of a hostile working environment, which could result in lawsuits being filed by employees.
Many enterprises also choose to block access to websites which hog bandwidth: Video streaming websites such as Netflix and YouTube for example.
Finding the right enterprise web filtering software with all of the features you need – and at the right price point – can be a challenge. To help you select the most suitable Internet filtering solution for your enterprise, we have listed some of the common features of web filter software to look for.
Anti-phishing controls are an important feature of enterprise web filtering software. Phishing websites are used to steal login credentials. If these credentials are obtained, hackers can bypass security controls and gain access to networks and sensitive data. Enterprise web filtering software should include an anti-phishing component in addition to blocking websites that contain exploit kits, malware, adware, and spyware. For maximum protection, choose a solution that also allows the blocking of third-party adverts on websites to reduce the risk from malvertising.
A web filter allows organizations to restrict access to certain types of website content. It is, therefore, important that acceptable usage policies cannot be bypassed. However, by using proxy servers, port bypass, or anonymizers, users could conceivably bypass an organization’s web filtering controls. To prevent end-users from circumventing company AUPs, ensure your chosen solution includes IP and Port bypassing controls and that anonymizers and web proxies can be blocked.
Patch management takes a lot of IT resources; however, unpatched software can potentially be exploited by hackers to gain access to networks. To ease the burden on the IT department, look for a web filtering solution that includes automatic software updates.
Cybercriminals are increasingly using secure websites, yet not all enterprise web filtering software can inspect the content of websites that have SSL certificates – Websites that start with HTTPS. Many malicious websites use fraudulently obtained SSL certificates. Failing to inspect these websites can leave an organization open to cyberattacks. To ensure total protection, ensure a web filtering solution includes HTTPS and SSL inspection.
Time-based controls can be used to carefully control the website content that can be accessed at certain times of the day. If enterprise web filtering software has this feature, personal Internet use can be restricted during normal working hours. This feature can also be used to conserve bandwidth at times when network use is heavy.
Many organizations prefer not to block access to all social media websites at work, yet would like to block access to Facebook Messenger. Facebook Messenger can introduce risks. The chat program lacks the level of security demanded by many organizations. Some enterprise web filtering software can be configured to block chat programs. Facebook Messenger can also be blocked without blocking access to Facebook.
It is possible to set different web filtering controls for different individuals – or groups of individuals - in your organization. Look for a solution that offers the ability to easily set privileges based on users’ roles in the organization. Some enterprise web filtering software allows filters to be added for all users or specific user groups. Look for web filter software that can be integrated with Active Directory, NetIQ and LDAP to make this process much less time-consuming.
TitanHQ’s scalable enterprise web filtering software – WebTitan – can be used to protect both wired and wireless networks. Installation is a quick and easy process, while the solution has a low management overhead.
There are three versions of WebTitan available to enterprises. WebTitan Gateway is our most powerful enterprise web filtering software solution, offering the maximum level of control over the types of web content that can be accessed by employees. WebTitan Gateway is supplied as a software solution or as a virtual appliance, both of which can be installed on your existing hardware. WebTitan Gateway includes automatic network configuration and installation and configuration takes a matter of minutes.
WebTitan Cloud is a 100% cloud-based enterprise-class web filter. WebTitan Cloud uses DNS-based filtering. All that is required is for you to point your DNS to WebTitan and you can be filtering the Internet in minutes. Web filtering settings can be accessed from any Internet-connected computer via an easy-to-use web-based control panel.
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi offers the same level of protection, but for WiFi networks. WebTitan Cloud for WiFi has excellent scalability and can be used to protect single WiFi routers or nationwide networks of WiFi hotspots.
WebTitan Cloud and WebTitan Cloud for WiFi are ideal solutions for Managed Service Providers looking to add web filtering to their portfolio of managed services. There are a range of hosting options – including hosting the solution within an MSP's own environment and the product is also available as a white label. With WebTitan Cloud there is no need to provide any on-site support.
We believe you should have the opportunity to try our product before you buy. Before committing to a license for one year or more, why not take advantage of our free WebTitan trial. We offer all enterprises the opportunity to install WebTitan Gateway, WebTitan Cloud, or WebTitan Cloud for WiFi and to evaluate our products in their own environment for 30 days.
Our customer support team is on hand to provide assistance with installation and full technical support is available for the duration of the trial. Assistance will also be provided to help you configure WebTitan to suit your enterprise’s needs.
To register for your free trial, contact our Sales Team today. Our friendly team will be able to answer any questions you may have about our products and advise you on the most suitable deployment option to suit your organization’s needs.
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