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Content Filtering Software Boosts Security

By in Internet Security

If you allow internet access at your business, you should be aware of how web security using URL content filtering software can help you maximize security.  Network security issues become more complicated as workers visit websites and download or run content.  They can accidentally trigger a computer virus.  They might download illegal content.  The types of incidents that can and do happen are limitless.

Preparing yourself for the inevitable by installing content filtering software can help you avoid major security issues.  It’s not a question of whether an employee will download questionable content.  It’s merely a matter of when and how much.

Content Filtering Software Helps Secure Your Business

Content filtering helps you prevent certain file types from being accessed.  You can limit access by user class or by file extension and file type.  This greatly reduces the troubles associated with network security.

Control Access To Websites And Data Based On Real World Needs

You also can limit what websites are being visited by URL or category.  It’s very easy to stop your workers from accessing porn websites using content filtering.   URL content filtering software is designed to be flexible.  It’s clear you can’t cut all access to all websites at most organizations these days.  Someone is probably doing social media marketing for your company.  They’ll need to be able access Facebook during work hours.  However, other employees may have no valid reason for social media access.  Ban them and allow access for the people who need it.

You set the policies and your content filtering solution automatically enforces them.  This helps you remove the guesswork.  If you run into a snag, you can ‘test‘ the rules and quickly debug what’s happening.  If you’ve cut off access for someone incorrectly, you can easily revise your rule.  This helps keep everyone happy because you’re using a system that is impersonal, and runs security policies ‘by the book.’

In the not-so-distant past, the main tools of security organizations used were guards and cameras.  Networking issues were not nearly as important as they are now.  Now, data breaches can cause organizations as much damage as non-virtual incidents.  Data security and privacy have moved to the forefront of concern because the current regulatory climate means big fines can be issued for improper storage of data.  That’s why so many organizations have embraced the move towards cloud hosting.

Cloud hosting of data, email, and user data is gaining in popularity because it solves many of the issues associated with compliance.  Removing physical access to computer software is almost always a move that strengthens data security.  Placing strict access controls on all data is another strong move your organization can take.  Web security with URL content filtering helps improve your overall security because it controls incoming and outgoing network traffic in a very specific way that ensures only the content that’s approved gets in or out.

Benefits Of Content Filtering Software

  1. Prevents unauthorized access to unapproved content.  If your corporate policies preclude porn from being surfed at work, then URL content filtering software is the workhorse that makes that happen.  You set the rules and the solution controls the access.
  2. Content filtering software allows for flexible use.  You can have policies that range from lax to Draconian.  It all depends on the specific needs of your organization.  You can set the rules however you like and adjust them as needed.  There’s no quicker way to rapidly reduce the risk associated with unfettered internet access at work.
  3. Content filtering helps your organization achieve data security compliance.  If you’ve set data security and privacy policies, you can enforce them using a content filtering solution.  You can stop outgoing data as well as incoming, which might end up being very important.

Let’s take a look at some of the features associated with content filtering.

Web Security with URL Content Filtering

  1. URL Filter:   One of two responses is expected, based on the URL.  That will be Allow or Deny access to content based on its particular URL.  This filter uses basic conditional parameters such as the hostname,  the I.P. address, and any associated file name.
  2. URL Blacklists: This filter will allow or deny access to content from websites which has been listed in a specific category.  This filter uses the basic conditional parameters of a Category to deny or allow access.
  3. Mime Filter:  This filter will allow or deny access to content based on its particular content-type.  This filter uses the basic conditional parameters Mime-Type and File extension.
  4. Cookie Filter:  This filter will allow or deny the exchange of a cookie to or from a particular Domain.  This is a basic conditional parameters known as Cookie which includes the elements of Domain Attribute, Path Attribute, Expiry time, and the Direction - Attribute (which is both Inbound and Outbound.)
  5. Keyword Filter:   A keyword filter works like you expect.  It will deny access to websites because they contain an unacceptable word or phrase, which has been set by the administrator.  This is a simple basic conditional parameters known as Patterns of Words and phrases.  These are scored and then denied based on a score.
  6. Document Rewrite:  This filter replaces or modifies unacceptable portions of a restricted web page.  Document-Rewrite uses the basic conditional parameters of Content Patterns that should be replaced.   This filer looks for the Pattern and replaces the content.
  7. Image Filter:  this filter allows you to Deny Access to pornographic images based on preset image type.  This rule will be evaluated based on conditional parameters.  The parameters are analyzed and the a probability threshold is calculated.  If the image ranks above a certain number, it will be filtered as pornographic.
  8.  DNS Blacklist:  This rule will deny access to content served from compromised web servers based on the basic conditional parameter of the I.P. Address, which is contained in a blacklist.

The best part about URL content filtering software is that it’s so easy to use.  Utilizing a simple control panel, you can implement a robust web security plan in no time.  If your organization is regulated, web security can be an essential part of a well-planned compliance program that utilizes cloud-based SaaS solutions.  Web security is no longer a complicated, or expensive proposition.  If you haven’t seriously considered a web security solution, I hope this article has helped you open your mind to all the advantages that using content filtering offers.

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