(LiveHacking.Com) – The internet is a minefield for users who are not technology-savvy or who have a habit of clicking on links and downloading files without thinking of the consequences. Now take those users into a business environment and you start seeing the value and importance of web content filtering. As the web ‘threatscape’ becomes more complex and the Internet becomes a focal point for social, business and personal communication, web content filtering (and its additional security benefits) can go a long way toward protecting the network.
All IT teams are aware of the risks associated with unrestricted internet browsing, and the traps that exist to trick unsuspecting users into clicking on links or files that could introduce viruses and compromise your network. However, you shouldn’t assume that this knowledge is universal throughout your company.
Hackers and cybercriminals do not discriminate between experienced or naïve internet users – everyone is a possible target – however the less experienced are often a far easier target because they have no clue what security is all about let alone what types of threats exist.
You can eliminate a range of risks to your systems by restricting the Internet content available to your users, and good filtering solutions allow you to automatically protect your users from phishing sites or infected content.
Security breaches aren’t the only risk associated with unrestricted and unmonitored browsing. A lot of employee time can be wasted due to the addictive nature of some Web content, particularly games and social networking sites. Web content filtering software can help you to block certain categories of sites permanently or on a time-limited basis, greatly reducing cyber-slacking and productivity drops.
Another danger associated with company Internet usage is the fact that some websites border on the illegal. For example, if you don’t filter and monitor Internet usage, you may find that members of staff are using the corporate connection to download music or movies illegally, leaving your company open to potential legal action.
Making it known that that you are using Web content filtering technology can bring about a change in employee attitudes and how they use company resources. If employees know they can be held accountable for the content they access, they are less likely to indulge in Internet activities that they feel could put their job at risk.
Web content filtering brings with it the additional benefit of freeing up company Internet bandwidth for legitimate, business related activates.
Web content filtering solutions are typically inexpensive, and too many risks and liabilities come into play if you choose not to implement one. These solutions also bring with them plenty of benefits for you, as a network administrator, not least reducing the risk of malware infections circumventing all the protection you have in place.
Editor Note: This guest post was provided by Ben Taylor on behalf of GFI Software Ltd. GFI is a leading software developer that provides a single source for network administrators to address their network security, content security and messaging needs. Read more on web content filtering.
Disclaimer: All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.