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Benefits - Web Filtering

The benefits and importance of enterprise web filtering and content monitoring

Web filtering can deliver many positive benefits for both organizations and end-users that go far beyond the basic implementation of preventing access to named websites or particular types of websites. Filtering technology is predominantly a security tool, one that provides an essential layer of centralized, server-side protection from security threats before they manifest on client devices.

The benefits and capabilities of web filtering solutions fall into four areas:


»Productivity – Web filtering can allow an organization to address excessive use of non-work websites by either preventing or limiting access to services such as social networking, online auctions, online gambling, personal web-based email, celebrity gossip, torrents, file download sites and so on. This can be done in numerous ways, ranging from a total blockage of access requests, down to allowing specific users and work groups, or simply allowing access at certain times such as lunch time or before and after normal working hours. The latter approaches can help companies balance the needs and morale of staff while at the same time ensuring that day-to-day activity is not hindered by web-based distractions.


»Minimizing liability – Companies must take all reasonable steps to protect themselves and their staff from liability. For example, website content that seems funny to some may be considered racially or sexually explicit, offensive or discriminatory by others. Case law in several countries has confirmed that the employer is responsible for the web activities of its staff, particularly when these activities involve illegal or offensive material. By implementing web filtering technology, not only can an organization prevent access to much of this content before it is accessed, but through associated web monitoring technology, it can also maintain accurate and detailed logs to show who attempted to access inappropriate content and when, allowing appropriate action to be taken as necessary and for evidence to be produced to support claims of inappropriate IT use at the workplace.


»Network and bandwidth management – The changing nature of the way we use the web and the way content is expressed on websites is placing growing pressure on broadband connections both at home and at the workplace. Growth of video-on-demand sites such as YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Hulu has triggered a substantial increase in bandwidth consumption. This is in addition to the increased use of video on everything from corporate websites to retailers to reference services. The result is that inoffensive casual browsing and even legitimate work-related browsing can place strain on both an Internet connection and the internal network. Web filtering and monitoring helps organizations understand the types of sites and content that is accessed at the workplace and at what time, helping with capacity planning and highlighting areas for further investigation in the case of casual browsing or upsurges in traffic around key events such as the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, major news events and other video-heavy content events.


»Data security – Web filtering delivers an essential layer of protection from malware, phishing and other online scams long before client computers and end-users would be exposed to them. By blocking access to known bad sites at source, end-users can be protected from straying into the path of malware and can avoid being duped by scams such as phishing attacks, while malware already present on devices can be limited in its ability to access the web to further infect a machine.

 

SafeSquid® can make Internet access, a better experience.

  • Pre-fetching accelerates loading of web-content.
  • Selectively apply filter bypassing for any application.
  • Use applications that supports use of HTTP 1.1 proxy.
  • DNS Cache to reduce latency when you visit popular web-sites.

Advanced Management

SafeSquid® can be easily managed even in most remote and complex environment.

  • Password protected browser-based interface for managing the system, viewing transactions in real-time, and reviewing system performance.
  • Multiple administrators can be assigned the task of managing the rules.
  • Unlimited unique department profiles based on I.P. addresses and/or username.
  • Time-based global or departmental rules for access to content.
  • Time based application profiles to define unique allow / deny actions depending upon departments, web-sites, nature of content, etc.
  • Unlimited rules to set limits for speed / data transfer, for each department or application.
  • XML based data-file to store and back-up configuration.
  • Enterprise-wide enforcement of rules on multiple proxy servers by using a unique Master-Slave installation.
  • Fully PCRE compatible system for creation of easily editable default rules.
  • Unique browser based URL Commands to analyse the application of profiles and nature of request and response.
  • Easily customisable templates that replace denied or inaccessible content.
  • Automatically produces appropriate WPAD compatible proxy.pac

Access Security

SafeSquid® challenges all applications that seek to access the Internet, to be authenticated.

  • Only users with a user / password, will be able to access the Internet.
  • The administrators can very easily identify and analyse the Internet usage of each individual user.
  • Spy-ware & Trojans will not be able to access the Internet.
  • Intrinsic PAM client ensures natural compatibility for using different mechanisms of authentication like Windows Domain, SQL Databases, POP3 email servers, Flat files etc.

Content Security

SafeSquid® ensures that all the content fetched from the Internet is security checked before it reaches the users.

  • A two-tier, fully-manageable, MD5 encrypted, content cache to serve the more popular content very quickly.
  • Readily connects to one or more virus scanners like ClamAV, F-Prot, Kaspersky, Sophos, Avast, etc
  • Built-in ICAP client to quickly connect to any existing - ICAP based content security software like Symantec, Trend-Micro, Dr. Web, etc.
  • Built-in Document Re-write sanitises the web-sites to remove pop-ups, ActiveX controls and stops spyware.
  • Fully configurable document analyser, to block web-sites or pages, based on the nature of content.
  • Fully configurable image analyser, to block pornographic images.
  • Time-based global or departmental rules for access to specified content

Chains with other Proxy or Security Gateway

SafeSquid® can easily complement your existing Internet Gateway.

  • Has advanced features like ICP / CARP to connect to external web-caches.
  • Forwarding with Authentication allows you to optionally place SafeSquid behind any authenticating Firewall that requires username / domain / password based authentication
  • Selectively Bind outgoing requests to different I.P addresses.
  • Programmable Headers allow you to protect your privacy.

Value-for-Money

SafeSquid® has a very low Total Cost of Owner-ship, and a very good investment .

  • Perpetual Server based licenses with no user-limits / time based expiration.
  • Trained technicians to evaluate your enterprise requirements.
  • Total support for system optimisation.
  • Low-cost of management
  • Compatible with a variety of third-party / open-source software.
  • Freely distributed SafeSquid SDK allows everybody to create feature enhancements.

SafeSquid provides a reliable and efficient solution for enterprise-wide distribution of Internet Access.
SafeSquid delivers the essential goals of a Content Filtering Internet Proxy - Total Access Control & Total Content Control.
SafeSquid's unique features provide better Manageability, Granularity & Scalability than any other comparable solution.