A web filter or “content control software” limits the websites computer users can access. Today, internet filtering has evolved from its late-1990s roots. In the 21st century, it has become a powerful tool not only for concerned parents but also for the business sector.
Web filtering can help protect an enterprise like a security appliance for small networks. In 2021, the average cost of data breaches was $4.24 million, according to research by Michigan-based Ponemon Institute. The average was $3.86 million in 2020.
Resources such as rhinonetworks.com can help with potential security issues like malicious software (malware) due to inadequate web filtering.
Learn the significance of internet filtering to increase enterprise security and some crucial benefits it can provide.
Why Is Web Filtering Vital for Company Privacy?
Data privacy has often been a security issue since companies have been online. Securing enterprise data can help protect customer data.
However, today data privacy has become more crucial than ever. Customers often inquire about a company’s data security and privacy.
Local or national regulations also require companies to safeguard the privacy of customers’ and employees’ data.
For example, you must adhere to California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) regulations if your company collects customer data of Californians.
Today’s enterprises use web filtering for a wide range of functions.
That said, preventing malware and ransomware (malware that blocks access to a computer system) threats are among the most common purposes of web filtering.
One common cause of data breaches is when employees browse unapproved websites. Malware or ransomware can infect their PC or mobile device.
Internet filtering software can protect enterprise data from security threats in various ways.
For instance, it can block employees from websites your company designates. Web filtering software can also detect potentially dangerous sites and prevent employees from visiting them.
Vital Benefits That Web Filtering Can Provide Enterprises
The Pew Research Center reported that 79% of Americans had conducted online shopping at least once. Today, increasingly more companies have an online presence. Hence, web filtering can provide various benefits for online enterprises.
Protect Devices From Ransomware
Ransomware is a variety of malware that uses encryption (mathematical technique(s) to secure digital data) to hold a victim’s data at ransom.
The encryption prevents users from accessing objects such as databases or files. Cybercriminals then demand a ransom to supply access.
The good news is entrepreneurs can use methods like web filters to help prevent ransomware attacks.
It would be best to consider additional preventative measures like:
- Backup important files and drives on flash drives or other removable drives
- Avoid opening files from unknown sources
- Disable Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) on all devices unless crucial
A web filter can help prevent users from downloading ransomware from malicious websites. Internet filters can also block malicious third-party ads (malvertising).
It is also advisable for employees and customers to use spam filters. These filters help block unsolicited and unwanted spam. Many people like Spam processed meat, but few like spam email.
Spam filters can also help block security threats like executable attachments. An executable file contains an encoded series of instructions and typically has a “.exe” extension.
Minimizing Your Business Liabilities
Some advocacy groups argue that education to help adults and children evaluate information is crucial.
However, as always, business owners must safeguard their brand and assets. Internet filtering may help achieve that goal.
Web filtering tools may help avoid liabilities in various ways. For instance, it can help prevent the potentially high costs of data breaches. The total cost of data breaches can be thousands or millions of dollars.
As the old expression states, “prevention is better than cure.” Web filtering may not block your customers and employees from 100% of malware, for instance.
Still, it can function as a preventative measure. Hence, you can avoid potential costs like data recovery.
Web filters can also help users avoid inappropriate content. For instance, parents may take legal action if their kids have access to content that is not child-friendly.
Your employees may take the same action if they access inappropriate content using company computers.
Content filtering can also protect unauthorized sending of sensitive company data. An example is preventing employees from using company email to send out secure company information.
Yet another way web filtering can minimize liabilities is by increasing employee productivity. Today, web-use and misuse have become significant issues for today’s businesses.
Safeguarding Minors From Inappropriate Content
As mentioned above, your enterprise can use web filters to help prevent minors from accessing inappropriate content. Such children include those of customers and employees that access your company’s online resources.
Taking steps to keep children safe online can benefit your online business in several ways, such as minimizing potential legal issues.
An internet filter can help block inappropriate content on devices like desktops, laptops, and smartphones.
Your company can research which internet filtering software is the most effective for your business based on its needs and preferences.
In recent years, the choice of schools and libraries to use web browsers has become a hot topic.
However, a caveat to consider is that web-based enterprises must take steps to protect their business interests. While parental controls are critical, companies can also help avoid legal trouble by implementing web filtering software.
This article has discussed the potential benefits of web filtering for online enterprises, including online security, liability prevention, and child internet safety.
The main issue is arguably not whether companies should or should not use web filtering. It is how they should use it.
1. Advancing Responsible Information Management
2. California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
3. Online Shopping and E-Commerce
4. Executable Attachments in Email