One of the most dangerous and common threats to a company’s web security is unrestricted Internet access. In a well-intentioned but ill-advised attempt to show users they are trusted, or from the false assumption that restricting or monitoring Internet access is bad for morale and too much work, companies frequently prefer to rely on their acceptable usage policy than any sort of effective technical solution. Fortunately, technical solutions that can improve your web security, show your users respect, and not require you to be the “Internet police” exist. By implementing a web monitoring and web filtering solution you can improve your web security in several ways; here are six of them:
1. Categorization and reputation
Web monitoring software can improve web security and protect users with a combination of website category lists and reputation lists. New sites, or sites newly compromised, can be assessed and access permitted, or denied as required based on policy.
2. HTTPS inspection
The best web monitoring solutions boost web security by inspecting HTTPS traffic too, ensuring that encryption cannot be used by malware to get past protections or that users cannot use encryption to bypass policy.
3. Block phishing sites
One of the biggest threats to web security is from phishing attacks. While your email filtering solution should block phishing emails, web monitoring software adds another layer to your web security by blocking access to phishing sites, just in case a user clicks on the wrong link.
4. Safe search
Search engines use safe search to minimize the chance search results might contain malicious, objectionable, or mature content. Web monitoring software can improve your web security by enforcing “Safe search” on popular search engines.
5. Soft blocks and exceptions
To every rule there is an exception, and the ability to provide warnings that will still allow access, or soft blocks, and to add exceptions to categories, helps ensure that your business can function with the web monitoring solution. It’s flexible enough to bend when needed, making it an improvement to web security rather than a hindrance to business.
6. Logging and compliance
Logging can be as broad as top websites accessed or top websites blocked, or as granular as exactly what a user accessed and when, depending upon the needs of the business. Web monitoring software can support the web security of the business by logging just the level of detail required for internal compliance or external audit, and can generate reports needed to investigate policy issues or prove actions.
Web security doesn’t mean draconian firewall policies, snooping on your users’ actions, and constant upkeep. Implementing a web monitoring solution is an easy way to improve your web security that can provide an immediate return on investment and real results.
This guest post was provided by Casper Manes 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. Learn more on what to include in your web security strategy.
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