General 6min de Leitura - 05 de December de 2017

Practical Tips for Implementing a Content Filter

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For many businesses, the Internet plays a fundamental role in the daily operations, since there is a natural trend for companies to absorb concepts associated with digital transformation, where the Internet and technology are considered the main engines for the projection of the business in increasingly competitive markets.[vc_row][vc_column width=’2/3′]

This is very positive because it allows you to improve a number of organizational processes, giving you more speed, reducing costs, increasing the productivity of the teams involved, among many other benefits. On the other hand, for other businesses, the internet is seen as a necessary evil, so that the facilities also end up compromising some deliveries, due to distractions and impacts on productivity.

The use of the Internet in corporate environments generates very deep reflections, since it is natural for companies to be comprised of professionals from different generations and who therefore have totally different behaviors, needs, desires and work dynamics.[/vc_column][vc_column width=’1/3′][rev_slider alias=”360×280-6-motivos-webeyes”][/rev_slider][/vc_column][/vc_row]


It is important to emphasize that the application of controls over Internet use in some cases is regulated/demanded by the market segment in which the company operates. Companies dealing with highly sensitive data usually have this feature.

Regardless of the branch of business, company size and age of employees, efficiently managing the use of the Internet is an important step, which not only increases the security of the corporate environment and people but promotes representative productivity gains through personalization and control of the use of the internet in a corporate environment.

How to deploy a web content filter

Much of the internet traffic today is attributed to website navigation, and therefore tools capable of managing this feature are critical. The first step that technology professionals must take before even deploying is to identify the needs of the environment by surveying industry leaders and key employees in the company.

After the initial survey, take a few basic steps to ensure the efficiency of the web content filter application. With these guidelines the chances of success in implementing increase significantly.

Communication and internal awareness

Usually neglected, the process of communication within the company, regarding any movement that involves some change in the behavior of use of the Internet, must be done in a very transparent way, bringing employees as multipliers of the benefits generated for their daily work.

Contrary to what many people think, controlling the use of the internet is not necessarily a limiting factor. For most companies, it is a way of protecting their own employees and the business from security incidents. Using this line of reasoning, technology professionals will have greater ease in conveying the benefits of change, gaining team engagement. Another important orientation is, whenever necessary and possible, to involve the marketing sector in the development of play materials that favor the involvement of employees during all stages of the process, including after its implementation.

The lack of a communication strategy can compromise the understanding, and consequently, the adhesion and multiplication of the purpose by collaborators. Therefore, invest time in the planning and execution of this phase of the project; the reflexes will perpetuate throughout its execution.

Permissive and restrictive policy

The communication goes through a process of defining how the Internet use policy will be adopted in the corporate environment. It is always best to work with hybrid policies, which make the use of the Internet more flexible for certain less critical sectors, while it is a bit more severe in sensitive or high-output sectors.

In any case, it is recommended that the professional responsible for the project build a global guideline of what cannot be accessed in the workplace, such as websites with adult content, drug information, weapons, trafficking, intolerance, piracy and malicious content.

The consequence for the sectors, and for the users, can be realized with more flexibility, according to the primary activity of each one. For example, in a financial institution, the administrative network can be quite segmented, with greater flexibility in accesses for certain sectors. Totally different from the operation of sectors/people that service account holders, when there is a clear need for greater restriction.

Basically the policy will define the desired behavior if a user’s access does not fit with what was predetermined: access or blocking. For many businesses, blocking the unknown is always the rule. For others, it is expressly blocked what is known, with the other accesses being granted. Professionals involved in the project, including key analysts and contributors, should evaluate the benefits assigned to each option and set the course to be taken in the organization.

Regardless of the position taken by those involved in the project, it is worth emphasizing that blocking only what is “known” is a great risk, considering that usually “knowledge” is restricted to a very small fraction of the universe that comprises the internet. In any case, it is known that many businesses prefer to work on this format and, based on reports, to monitor any abuses or risks to the organization.

Although there are good practices for defining the access policy, it is important to emphasize that the fundamental orientation is always to seek adaptation to the reality of the corporate environment. Technology professionals are key players in this process, and should be the main articulators, seeking leadership involvement and proposing alternatives, for the top management of the company.

Control by groups and users

Knowing a little more about the technical possibilities of control is very important for technology professionals. In this perspective, one of the possibilities is to apply controls based on groups and/or users. This offers a lot of dynamism and enables the creation of a policy highly adherent to the needs of the company.

With this facility, some groups (which may be sectors of the company) have a certain access policy, and there may be exceptions for certain users, whenever deemed necessary.

Groups may also have levels of internet access, rather than sectors, where users from different sectors, based on hierarchy or need, have differentiated access to the internet. Anyway, the universe is extensive, but having this flexibility is important for an adequate delivery of internet control.

The definition of the format is very particular and can be adapted according to the reality of each business. However, it is important that the professionals responsible for this organization always think of designing a structure that facilitates future management and maintenance. This is a highly valuable tip, which can avoid some future disorders and save time of those involved in this type of activity.

Control by schedules

Flexibility of certain content by schedule is a strategy adopted by many companies in order to minimize the rigidity of security policies. With these features, for example, users may have daily usage quotas for certain purposes, or specific times when websites are allowed.

For example, it is relatively common for access to social networks to be banned for most sectors during business hours, but at certain intervals access is free for unrestricted use by employees. It is worth remembering that technology professionals should also be aware of bandwidth consumption, generated by these accesses. If they compromise the availability of the internet resource, it is important that controls be created prioritizing accesses with greater representativeness for the business.

This is an excellent way to implement more restrictive policies without leaving aside some content that does not necessarily pose a risk to the organization, they are only considered a source of dispersion, which can compromise employees’ productivity.

Control by categories

A very important aspect of policy deployment is having the ability to segment hits based on themes or categories of content. This offers great dynamism for more flexible policies.

The OSTEC FireBox, product, for example, has a feature called OSTEC WebEyes which has 32 billion websites, classified in more than 180 categories, such as religion, entertainment, adult, gambling, games, online shopping, banks, etc. It is a feature that provides high efficiency to established controls over the use of the internet. To learn more about OSTEC WebEyes, we have the e-book “6 reasons to improve the control and visibility of Internet use in companies”. Feel free to download the material and stay informed.

This type of feature allows the construction of access policies much more appropriate than traditional means, such as building lists of websites from scratch. It also allows for more secure use of permissive policies, where you can leave everything free except websites that contain malware content, warez, and other potentially malicious content.

The use of specialized solution and categorization of content brings highly representative benefits to professionals responsible for organizing and controlling Internet use in companies. This type of technology virtually eliminates the need for analysts to intervene in the maintenance of access lists. The technology also hinders the action of malicious employees, who invest time to circumvent the controls provided in the Internet use policy.

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Follow-up reports

Not less important, in any deployment of web content filtering, whether hosted or in the cloud, it is critical that there be reporting and graphing capabilities to track the operation.

A built policy does not withstand the dynamics of business over time, so it is important to track usage and update the document (Policy) when necessary. Therefore, validate this type of resource. Specialized solutions, such as the OSTEC FireBox product, allow you to schedule reports to be sent via email. Such reports help technology professionals to create visibility on the use of the Internet for managers, seeking their involvement in the process of maintenance and control of accesses by employees.

Owning a policy on paper and not tracking daily use and compliance is a very big risk and unfortunately something greatly overlooked by small and medium businesses. Therefore, create a routine to perform the necessary audits and alignments and, where necessary, involve other members of the company in this process.

These are some tips to follow, in order to have a higher level of success and adherence in deploying a web content filter to better control, visibility, and manage the use of the Internet in corporate environments.

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