Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The invisible enemy

It is very common in young children to cover their eyes or hide when facing situations that scare them. They believe that if they do not see the problem through their own eyes, it will just disappear. Something similar happens with web filtering. Web filtering software takes two principal kinds of clients into account: parents that want to avoid their kids’ access to unappropriated content and companies that wish to avoid their employees’ access to websites that are not related to their work activities. 

Making the malicious content invisible is a really common practice in companies in order to prevent their employees from visiting unreliable sites, so they can keep their information safe.

According to a poll made by Spiceworks, safety is the main reason why organizations use web filtering in the workplace. Many companies and businesses decide to filter web content to increase their employees’ productivity and protect themselves from security threats, but, what websites are usually restricted and why? Another question that it considers is whether this method is effective in the organizations that defend security threats.

On the Spiceworks study, the interviewees were 645 members of its professional network dedicated to information technology oriented towards sectors such as manufacture, health care and finances. The results were these:
More than a half of the organizations monitor their employees’ activities on the Internet and an 89% confessed to have blocked or restricted the use of one or more websites online. The size of the company also determines this practice, the larger the company, the more likely it is to implement web filtering. 8 out of 10 of the small companies that consist of up to 99 employees admitted to restrict the activity, in comparison of a 92% of medium-sized companies and a 96% of the big companies.

Which are the websites that companies filter? According to the poll, the organizations mainly restrict the access to illegal sites (85%), non-ethical and unappropriated web domains (85%) and online dates platforms (61%). But social networks do not stay out of this filter. One out of three organizations filter the sites of social networks, blocking the access to Facebook (36%), Snapchat (36%) and Instagram (35%).

Despite these improvements in the employees’ productivity that web filtering achieves, it is not the main reason. Safety is the main objective. 9 out of 10 companies said they had used web filtering to prevent and protect against malware infections. Other companies said that they used it to prevent users to visit unappropriated websites when working and eliminate employees’ unacceptable behavior, an aspect that can also be translated into security for organizations.

Hide to protect, a simple but effective practice. Blocking the access to certain websites that may put your company at risk can prevent future security incidents.


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