There are lots of different reasons for implementing a solution for website filtering for your business but, what arguments can be made in relation to increasing efficiency and productivity, the main reason to do so is always to stop hackers from gaining access to your network and stealing valuable data or hard-earned money.
Picking the correct solution for website filtering is not as simple to explain and will depend on the business that you do, how you use the Internet and how you communicate with customers and potential clients. For example, you might be able to include SSL inspection as part of some solutions. This allows web filters to check encrypted websites for malware and ransomware without breaking code of conduct policies for most organizations. While this may seem like an ideal option you must also take into account the heavy toll this places on your network performance as it uses so much bandwidth. This is the best way of portraying the cost-benefit nature of implementing a website filter.
The first thing you should do is make a list of the features that you must have and a separate list of the features that would be a nice addition but are not vital. The most important thing that you should take into account is the granularity of the service on offer. This means the control that you have to make small adjustments or fine tune the configuration to suit your needs.
In most cases website filters work with three main features; blacklists, category filters and website filters.
A Blacklist capability will mean that your website filters automatically refers to blacklists of websites that are marked as malicious and known for being leveraged by cybercriminals. Blacklist checking also employs URIBL and SURBL filters in most web filters. This is where IP addresses that host spam are blocked from showing you websites.
Category filters work similarly to Blacklists in that they refer to known categories of websites and can block any selection that you choose. Website are assigned categories for search purposes so this makes it useful when it comees to choosing a topic such as pornography or gambling that you would like to restrict access to. Some categories are more prone to be leveraged for phishing purposes also and this will inform your decision in relation to where to apply your blocks.
Finally, keyword filters do the same task but do so using keywords that have been used to label websites. A fitler like this can be set to stop browsers from clicking on files from the Internet with certain file extensions. Files with .exe, .scr, .bat, and .rar file extensions are easy to use in tandem with malware.