Web Monitoring & Content Filtering
Internet browsing is one of the main ways that computer viruses or malware are introduced into an organisation. Using a website content filtering solution can prevent your staff from accessing web pages that may harbour computer viruses or malware and unwittingly introducing them into your IT network. Preventing access strengthens your cyber security defences.
Website filtering can also be used to control access to certain websites that you would not want your employees to be accessing during the working day. This includes social media sites, online shopping portals, online gambling sites, or sites containing material such as pornography. Restricting access to such sites can increase staff productivity.
How Does Web Filtering Work?
There are three ways that web filtering solutions identify which websites to block access to:
- Blacklists and whitelists
- Category filters
- Keyword filters
Blacklists and Whitelists
Blacklists are lists of websites that you may want to block access to. These are commonly websites known to harbour infections such as malware, adware, and ransomware or websites containing pornography. You can also add file sharing sites or known proxy addresses to blacklists.
Whitelists contain safe websites that you want to allow access to but might be blocked by an over-zealous website content filtering solution.
Category filters enable you to block access to websites by category. Categories could include online shopping portals, online gambling sites or social media sites. You can also use category filtering to block access to video streaming sites such as Netflix and YouTube. Many web content filtering solutions also enable you to create customised categories.
Category filters enable you to fine tune your filters and block access to specific web content by keyword.
Whichever web content filtering solution you decide upon for your organisation it is important to find one that offers flexibility. You may want blanket restrictions across the board. For example, you may require your marketing department to have access to Facebook during work hours but no one else in your organisation.