Web Filtering Appliance

Along with boosting online security, a web filtering appliance will also introduce a number of other advantages for any business that chooses to implement it.

In respect of internet security, Internet users visiting sites which harbor ransomware and malware are prevented by a web content filter appliance. It lowers the chance of an economic or maybe data loss as a result of the activities of a cybercriminal, and also shields users, networks, and businesses from numerous various kinds of web borne threat.

In a workplace, devices for filtering web content may be set up to avoid workers visiting non work related sites and cyberslacking. Additionally, in most schools or places with public access to the internet (such as a shop, a college, a restaurant, or maybe a workplace environment), a web content filter can prevent clients, pupils, diners and staff being subjected to inappropriate online content.

A web content filter equipment is deployed in one of three ways. When they were first commercially available, web filters were almost exclusively hardware-based. A physical solution had to be purchased and were ideal for individuals on small household networks but, due to the cost and effort involved in configuring and updating, they proved inappropriate for bigger businesses and organizations.

Due to the capital cost and high maintenance overheads of hardware-based appliances, software-based virtual devices for web content filtering became popular. Initially they were mostly installed behind a firewall to safeguard networks. However, they have now become more versatile. For instance, tools have been created to incorporate the virtual devices which add to the simplicity of use.

Software-based solutions can place an extra load on CPUs thanks to the SSL inspection procedure – the process that inspects the information of encrypted sites to see if they comply with the appliances filtering settings, and cloud-based appliances for filtering web content have finally been created that air filter Internet content inside the cloud. Cloud-based devices need no initial capital investment, the solution conducts the SSL inspection so there is no adverse effect on the user’s CPU, and updates are done by the service provider directly so there is simply no requirement for manual updates or patching.

Typically a web content filter protects Internet users and also networks by utilizing a blend of blacklists, SURBL and URIBL filters, category filters and keyword filters. Blacklists, SURBL and URIBL filters work in concert to avoid owners visiting sites found to harbor malware.

During the filtering process, the data from countless web pages is examined and allocated to a group. System administrators may then select what groups to block access to. Keyword filters have numerous uses. They may be utilized to block access to sites containing certain words (for instance the company title of a competitor), specific file extensions (typically many most often employed for deploying ransomware and malware), and particular web applications; in case, for instance, a company might need to allow its marketing department to access Facebook, but not FaceTime.

FAQs

Does web filtering slow down Internet speed?

It depends on the solution you choose. There may be some latency with web filtering appliances, but DNS-filters – web filters that work at the DNS-layer – will not slow Internet speed by any discernible degree. They take around 5 milliseconds to perform a database lookup to determine if content can be loaded.

How can I block malware with a web filter?

Commercial web filters use blacklists of known malicious web pages and websites and will automatically prevent those sites from being accessed. You can use category filters to block risky sites such as peer-2-peer file sharing and warez sites, and you can also prevent employees from downloading certain file types from the Internet, such as executable files, which are often used to install malware.

Do web filters block phishing attacks?

Yes. Web filters work in tandem with other anti-phishing measures to block phishing attempts. Spam filters prevent emails containing links to websites hosting phishing forms from being delivered to inboxes, and web filters provide time-of-click protection against links in phishing emails and redirects to phishing websites.

Why do I need a web filter if I have a spam filter?

Spam filters are not 100% effective, especially at blocking emails containing malicious links to websites. Emails can be sent with benign links that pass spam filtering controls, and then the linked pages have malicious content uploaded. The time-of-click protection provided by a web filter will protect against this tactic and also block access to malicious websites from general web browsing.

What categories of web content should I prevent employees from accessing?

Most businesses block access to illegal content using blacklists, such as the blacklist maintained by the Internet Watch Foundation to block child abuse/pornography. Commonly blocked categories include offensive web content such as pornography and hate speech, and content to enhance productivity such as social media, dating, gaming, and gambling sites.