Limiting Internet Access

Limiting Internet Access with a web filter is a useful and powerful step to implement in order to stop hackers gaining access to your network and valuable information.

It is important to remember that using an Internet filter to limit access will not, on its own, stop every spam or hacking attack that you are subjected to. However, using this tool will prevent your staff members from logging onto web portals that may contain harmful malware that can be deployed during a ransomware campaign. Limiting Internet access with a web filter is a crucial act in order to enhance your networks durability in the face of hacking attacks.

An added bonus of configuring web filters is their ability to police adherence with acceptable Internet use policies, leads to more efficient work practices and stop any incidents of online bullying in the workplace..You are obliged to provide your workforce with safe workplace environment, using a web filters would definitely be seen as assisting in this task.

How Internet Filters Operate

Normally when they are configured, web filters employ a three-tier filtering operation mode that limits Internet access – blacklists, category filters and keyword filters.

At tier one level, a number of web filters also incorporate SURBL filters to prevent the viewing of fake websites used in phishing attacks, and URIBL filters that can stop staff members accessing websites that mask their actual identity using a proxy server or by deploying the whois privacy feature. The three tiers work in tandem to put in place a very granular filtering mode of operation.

  • Web access is controlled and limited, particularly to web pages that are renowned for hosting malware. Blacklists, SURBL filters and URIBL filters (where supplied) are updated as soon as they are made available by the filtering service supplier provider as new dangers are discovered.
  • Hundreds of thousands of web sites are moved into different categories that will allow system managers to choose what Internet content they do not want employees to be able to view.
  • Keyword filters are a utility that have the ability to limit website access using keywords. Along with being a handy measure that allows the enforcing of acceptable use policies, keyword filters can be leveraged to limit access to file extensions most often linked with malware and ransomware attacks.

Category filters, keyword filters and whitelists – which permit trusted web pages to bypass the filtering mechanism – are all managed by the system administrator via a web-based management control interface. This interface puts system administrators in a position to access Internet activity of staff in real time and download reports to display historic activity by user, user group, time or IP address. This data will allow the database managers to spot trends and possible dangers, and for conducting risk audits.

It may be the case that companies are not in a position due to the work they must carry out, to limit website access across their board in their organization. In other words, a marketing department may require access to social media platforms but the accounting department may not. In order to overcome this hurdle user groups may be established that let this happen.

When you are choosing a web filter you will be given three options that will allow you to limit Internet access.These include hardware-based filters, software based filters and cloud based filters.

Hardware-based web filters can be costly and involve a lot of hands-on management, software solutions are cheaper to install and more user friendly. However they can be a drain on internet speeds. Cloud-based solutions are growing in popularity due to their ease of installation and management.