E-Mail & Web Content Management
Inappropriate web use in the workplace may lead to lower productivity, unacceptable use of company resources, pressure on network resource availability and legal liability. The challenge for organisations lies in balancing employees personal surfing needs while increasing overall levels of productivity, as well as maintaining acceptable bandwidth levels throughout the network. Web content filtering becomes essential,
Content Security specifically around the web browser has matured from being static in its nature to becoming dynamic and adaptive. No longer are URL databases satisfactory for the modern workplace as they are unable to deal with dynamic pages, as what one individual sees on one iGoogle page will be totally different to what another individual will see on their personalised page. A URL database simply can't handle dynamic content even though it still does have a place in helping define a security policy.
The same applies to malware and viruses, hundreds and thousands of variations of new malware are being released on a daily basis to target individuals and so the standard Anti-Virus model is beginning to struggle. More intelligent scanning and the ability to understand exploits to deal with them have become ever more important to businesses today as this not only helps protect users and their networks but will also help protect businesses data.
Currently, the majority of malware enters the network through exploited websites referenced in email where, users are being subjected to drive by install or perhaps via a virus stored on a USB key. However with a lot of businesses starting to lock down and control USB access this is beginning to wane.
Most businesses have been restricting the types of attachments, which are allowed into the network via email for many years now, so the old attacks have pretty much died a death. They have been replaced with the Zero - Day exploit. A mail, whether targeted or opportunistic (using current popular events as bait) will most likely link to an exploited website and, browsing to the site will install a zero -day exploit infecting the device with malware and from here the malware is able to steal and leak data out of the network. So, not only do web content filtering solutions need to be dynamic and understand attacks… but also email systems must do the same. Simple lexical analysis of the text using dictionaries is not sufficient in blocking spam or attacks, the email system must be able to scan the mail and understand the web attacks with updating URL databases if necessary.
Not just a URL...
Content security has grown to become more than just a static list of URLs or signatures that are updated daily as real-time updates are now required to combat real-time threats within web and email channels. Content security technology today needs to be aware of what the traffic is passing in terms of data and where its true destination is. These solutions must be able to read, understand and classify accordingly to be able to enforce a security policy.
With the transition of the modern day website utilising Web 2.0 controls and using dynamic content, a content security solution should have the granularity and flexibility to strip or block inappropriate content or malware whilst allowing the unaffected or remaining content to be displayed. A content security solution today should be able to provide analysis to businesses with details on bot -nets and zombie activity on the network with alerting providing alerts to network and security administrators. This functionality is a great security tool in itself.
Web content filtering helps your company in many ways. It protects against loss of productivity by accurately managing employee access to websites, blocking inappropriate content or websites, prevent malware such as viruses and trojans from infecting your network and can also help you manage and enforce employee internet usage policies.
IPOptions are web content filtering specialist and can work alongside your business to deploy a solution that best suits your needs and budget. For more information or a quotation on a web filtering solution for your business get in touch with our security experts.
Hybrid solutions are also becoming main-stream for businesses that want to enforce a security policy across both email and web channels simultaneously.
Email is being scanned in the cloud then delivered directly to the mail server or sent to a downstream content filter for further analysis thus greatly reducing the number of junk messages flooding the internet connection.
This preserves internet bandwidth and with the combination of appliance and cloud based web filtering technology businesses are able to enforce the same security policy for networked and remote users.
Using the same vendor for email and web channels not only provides greater control and visibility of web and email channels but can also provide other benefits such as tighter integration into DLP and as well as provide a business with a lower total cost of ownership.