If bandwidth utilization by users is a big problem within your organization, a simple way to control and limit Internet use is through a web filter. Web filters do exactly what it sounds like; they intercept all web traffic and either filter the website or allow the website to pass through.
Web filters come in a few different “flavors”. Within larger organizations, a dedicated device at the edge of the Internet is used to pass all Internet traffic through. The security policy on the web filter controls who has access to what site, at any given time. All attempts to access sites are logged and can be accessed by IT security. These can sometimes be integrated into the existing Windows network security, which allows selected individual users or groups from Active Directory to have access over other users or groups.
The secondary method used by smaller organization is through local agents that are installed on each machine on the network. These act to filter web traffic at the machine instead of at the edge of the corporate network. These web filters can be harder to manage, of the web filter does not have centralized management. In the event you use an endpoint protection agent, You may have the capability to enable web filtering as well as have the centralized management that comes along with the endpoint protection.
Web filters can capture and block potentially harmful and time wasting sites. For instance, you might want employees to only have access to Facebook during lunch. You might also want everyone to be restricted to certain websites, except management, which will have full access all the time. You might want to block streaming sites, because they are eating up your bandwidth. These security policies are easily configurable. Without a web filter, you will never know which sites your employees go to or how often they are going to them.
Web filters can be expensive, if you do not know what you need or what you are looking for. Southern Networks can help you wade through the decision making process and help you determine the right product and fit for you network infrastructure. With our ThreatBlock Security Services to help you manage the web filter, you can be assured that your employees are more productive and you are not wasting money.
If you need help selecting a web filter, or if you would like to talk to someone about additional security services, you can contact us today and we will be happy to work with you to resolve your issues.