What SMBs should look for in URL filters

What SMBs should look for in URL filters

If Facebook had to give SMBs and cybercriminals a relationship status, it would definitely be complicated. Hackers relentlessly bombard businesses with numerous types of attacks bent on unleashing chaos. Small- and medium-sized businesses have retaliated with one security measure after another, but there doesn't seem to be a permanent fix.

Business owners can hardly keep count of these assailants' attacks. When they successfully ward off one threat, another one appears. In anticipation of any attack, numerous cybersecurity experts have designed and implemented network security measures to keep businesses safe -- one of them being URL filtering.

URL filtering has proven to be a fairly reliable method for organizations seeking to block potentially malicious traffic from entering their networks and domains. But like every other defense mechanism, you need to understand what it can do for your business.

Why is it so important?
URL filtering allows you to limit website access by permitting or denying connection to specific websites based on information contained in a URL list. For example, you can choose to blacklist websites that may potentially hide a slew of malware like torrent or porn sites.

As for its importance, let’s put it this way: Soldiers who didn’t wear armor had an extremely low chance of surviving. And without adequate protection, your business faces the same odds. As if fending off cybercriminals aren’t enough, business owners have to worry about employees possibly leaking sensitive information and viewing inappropriate material in the workplace. In short, restricting access to certain websites reduces the chances that your employees will encounter or incite malware attacks

Qualities to look for
Nowadays, businesses must regulate Internet access by establishing Acceptable Use Policies (AUP). When searching for URL filtering software, look for one that manages your AUP and enforces it across the entire company. User profile tracking also comes in handy, since it comes with time limits and real-time threat detection to block sites with access to classified content. When investing in URL filtering software, it's best for small- and medium-sized businesses to look for one that meets the following criteria:

  • Features - Do you want to be able to monitor your employees’ Internet time? Do you allow personal web surfing during breaks? There are numerous software applications that will allow you to designate which sites to block and times you can access them.
  • Blocking - Certain applications allow you to create a list of safe domains for employees to access. Do you have staff members who require access to web domains different from those that other staff members require? With certain URL filtering software, you can create user groups with access to a different set of websites at different times. For instance, you can allow your marketing department to access Facebook to conduct social media campaigns and prevent your accounting staff from viewing any social media during business hours
  • Reporting - Another key feature is notification. If you need to travel often -- meaning you have to manage network and employees remotely -- you’ll want to have remote access to your Internet filter. Auto-archiving is another important feature to look for, as this allows you to review an employee’s Internet history whenever you need. It should also be able to record screenshots and keep a record of what’s being searched for online.
  • Help and Support - If you experience an issue or need questions answered, having product manuals, how-to guides, and contact information for technical support really makes a difference.

Finding the right URL filter is no walk in the park. Consider Complete Technology your go-to company for everything tech-related. Not only will we help you choose the software that is attuned with your business’s needs, we’ll also ensure the safety of your small- or medium-sized business and guarantee the profitable future you deserve. Contact us for more information!

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