Why is the internet a dangerous place for your entrepreneurial / SME businesses? The answer to this was quite well put by a recent article by Entrepreneur. The article mentions several reasons why your computers, network and the data that resides on them are at greater risk now than ever before.
The main reason is that large enterprise network security is very difficult to breach. In recent years, most large corporations, having been impacted by internet threats at some point, have implemented high level data security solutions encompassing web filtering software and other methods to significantly bolster their network security.
This means that it has been a lot more difficult for hackers to infiltrate these corporate systems. Hackers and cyber-criminals have thus turned their attention to less sophisticated, easy to crack, unprotected networks (typically in the SME space).
The good news is that, like most technology solutions that start off as expensive, difficult to manage, and thus only really applicable to large business, web filtering software is now available (and affordable) to all businesses, regardless of the business size. What do web filtering software solutions include?
Using proper cloud based web filtering software can mitigate the risks of infiltration.
Effective web filtering software solutions are usually a component of an "office protection solution" that encompasses:
Anti-Virus, spam ware & malware protection
Web-filtering - selectively block access to productivity killer websites (Facebook, Twitter, Torrent, Gaming etc.) as well as offensive content sites (porn etc.) to greatly enhance office productivity
Device Control - "lock down" corporate devices so that corporate data cannot be copied to (or from) USB drives or other portable media
Cloud based web filtering software solutions are more effective than traditional on premise solutions for the following reasons
Easy to deploy, configure and manage - cloud solutions require virtually no local software installation and can be managed via a cloud based management console
Always access an up to date online "threat" database. This ensures that the web filtering software always references and blocks all new websites that fall into selected blocked categories.
Cloud based web filtering software solutions are usually offered on a monthly subscription basis with no long term contractual commitment (thus making these solutions both affordable and easily scalable).
What else should one look for in a web filtering software solution?
It's really useful if the solution allows you to selectively manage access levels:
Authorised personnel (directors and owners) may want unrestricted access to the world wide web
Managers and other relevant employees may need access to certain sites (e.g. Facebook, Linked In) in order to work effectively, but shouldn't be allowed to access online gaming, porn and other offensive productivity killer sites
Other employees should only be allowed to access work applicable websites (although you may wish to grant access to social media platforms at certain times of the day, for example, at lunchtime).
For more on this topic, check out our recent blog by clicking here.
Our recommendation would be to implement a cloud based web filtering software solution coupled with a backup plan and anti-virus to ensure risk averse business continuity in the future.