In today’s digital-first environment, the internet is as necessary as any utility service for a business. But just as with electricity or water, the flow of the internet into your workplace requires regulation – this is where web filtering becomes essential.
What is Web Filtering?
Web filtering is the practice of blocking access to web content deemed unsuitable or harmful to the organisation and its employees. The primary aim is to prevent exposure to content that could lead to security risks such as phishing, malware, or breaches of sensitive data.
Why is Web Filtering Important for small to medium-sized businesses?
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) might not always possess the robust IT infrastructure that larger corporations do, but they face similar, if not greater, cyber risks. Web filtering can serve as a first line of defence against numerous online threats.
What are the benefits of Web Filtering?
Enhanced Security: Web Filtering prevents access to malicious websites that could infect your network with malware.
Improved Productivity: Web Filtering limits distractions by blocking access to websites that are not work-related.
Legal Compliance: Web Filtering assists in enforcing compliance with regulations that dictate internet use policies within an organisation.
Network Efficiency: Web Filtering can improve bandwidth by restricting access to high-bandwidth sites that are not business-related.
How Does Web Filtering Work?
Web filtering solutions operate by comparing web traffic against a database of categorised websites and filtering it based on preset rules and policies. Anything from specific URLs to broader categories like “social media” or “video streaming services” can be selectively blocked or allowed.
Can Web Filtering be customised if we have specific business needs?
Every business is different, which means web filtering needs to be customised. For instance, while a creative agency might require access to social media for market research, a finance firm might view such sites as a security risk.
10 Questions to Ask Your IT / Managed Service Provider about Web Filtering
How customisable is your web filtering solution for a business of our size and nature?
Understand how the solution can be tailored to your company’s unique needs and the flexibility it offers.
Can you provide a breakdown of the categories and types of websites that can be filtered?
This will give you insight into the comprehensiveness of the filtering.
How do you ensure that legitimate websites are not incorrectly blocked (false positives)?
False positives can be as much of a nuisance as actual threats, so knowing how your provider manages them is crucial.
Is the web filtering service able to scale with my business as it grows?
As your business expands, so do your web filtering needs. Scalability is key.
How does your web filtering service protect against newly established malicious sites?
With new threats emerging daily, it’s important to know how the provider keeps their filtering up to date.
What sort of reporting and monitoring tools are available with your web filtering services?
Transparency is important. You’ll want to have reports that provide insights into internet usage and security incidents.
How does your web filtering solution integrate with other security measures we have in place?
Web filtering should be part of a layered security strategy.
Can you detail the impact on internet speed and network performance?
Web filtering should not significantly slow down your business’s internet connection.
What kind of support and training do you offer for managing the web filtering system?
Ensure that you have the necessary support to manage the system effectively.
What is the protocol in place for updating the filtering criteria?
Understand the process for keeping the filtering criteria up to date with the evolving web landscape.
As an Office Manager, you’re in a unique position to understand the everyday needs and challenges of your business. Web filtering is an indispensable tool in maintaining the integrity of your company’s operations. It safeguards not just the digital aspect of your workplace but also the productivity and well-being of your team.
Back to news