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What is web filtering and why it should be part of your cybersecurity toolkit

In the latest of our posts on how to implement effective cybersecurity, we look at web filtering and why you should include it as part of your cybersecurity toolkit.

What is web filtering?
Another useful cybersecurity tool, web filtering is a technology that has been specifically developed to prevent users from looking at or accessing particular websites or URLs. It works by stopping the user’s browser from loading any pages from such sites. There are many different types of web filters available from ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions to bespoke filters designed to deliver a bespoke solution. They can be employed in both a commercial and personal setting too such as web filters that allow the creation of parental control over certain websites.

How does web filtering work?
A web filter will block content based on the quality of the site the user wishes to view. The filter does this by scanning recognised lists that catalogue common pages across a variety of different content. At the same time, a web filter will evaluate the content of a page in real-time and will block the user from viewing it accordingly. Websites or URLs can be blocked in line with a corporate security policy or even from a perspective of not being deemed to support an effective work day; certain social media sites as a common example.

Every web filter will work in one or both of these ways and will always refer back to a URL exclusion database. This central database updated every few minutes with the details of any website or domain that is linked to hosting malware, viruses, phishing or any other malicious online activity.

It’s worth pointing out that web filtering can only go so far and works best when it is implemented alongside other cybersecurity tools such as MFA or anti-malware. There are almost one billion websites on the internet so, with every will in the world, web filters may not pick up every website that should be on the exclusion database.

Another invaluable cybersecurity tool to add to your arsenal
As we are all well aware, cybercriminals are increasingly sophisticated and we must never be complacent when it comes to overseeing our online activities in the workplace, at home or wherever we happen to access the internet. By adding web filtering to your cybersecurity arsenal you are adding another invaluable tool to protect both corporate and client data. In doing so, you will further activate your firm’s defences against data breaches and the rising wave of cybercrime. Preventing a potential cyber attack is always better than having to deal with the fall-out from one.

Ask the experts
Web filtering, whilst appearing relatively straightforward, can be quite complex depending on your bespoke requirements. If you’d like to implement web filtering software correctly and effectively, or you have any queries about your existing web filters, feel free to give us a call on 0333 358 2222 or drop us an email – we’ll be happy to advise.

Up next: Anti-malware

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