Between analyzing sales data, conducting rigorous research, and drafting marketing proposals, diligent employees sneak in a bit of web surfing or a quick scan of their Facebook newsfeed to take a break from the day’s tasks. Aside from watching and sharing cat video clips, the office network’s bandwidth is also commonly clogged by employees downloading non-work media files.
As your business grows, so does the number of employees you hire and the amount of time they spend surfing the web. Consequently, the probability of security breach, malware infestation, and countless other threats that can affect your entire organization increases.Your office network might not be devastated by the occasional slow internet connection, but eventually, unrestricted network access will pose serious threats, which could eventually lead to your small- or medium-sized company’s undoing.
In case you’ve put URL filtering on the back burner, these five undeniable benefits will definitely change your mind:
Tightened Network Security
13.9% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of the web content filtering market is brought about by the rise of web attacks. It’s unlikely this trend will decrease in the coming years given the growing sophistication of hackers’ attacks. And even if you’re operating a small business, viruses, phishing attacks, and various malware still pose danger to you.
Implementing web content filtering adds a much-needed layer of security to your network by blocking access to sites that raise an alarm. Aside from preventing users access to sites based solely on domain names, an effective web content filtering system should be able to scan and scrutinize web pages and determine which portions are likely to contain threats.
Increased Employee Productivity
Even though social media is notorious for being a productivity killer in most office settings, social media savviness is a valued skill in some organizations, which makes banning sites like Facebook or Twitter a tricky feat.
Nevertheless, implementing stricter rules on web access helps increase productivity. Your office doesn’t have to block access to Facebook or YouTube, but there’s no reason why entertainment sites like funnyordie.com or online shopping portals like eBay or Amazon shouldn’t be banned across the company -- there’s just no point in letting your employees peruse these sites’ content when they’re supposed to be working.
Or, instead of preventing access to sites perceived to be security threats, you can impose stricter policies on email use, especially in terms of opening suspicious mail, downloading dubious files, and responding to unverified contacts.
Network Bandwidth Efficiency
Aside from boosting productivity and data security, reducing employees’ non-work-related internet usage helps secure faster connections throughout your company. You can teach the merits of a consistently fast network to your employees, or you can take the more practical approach of setting limits on ‘bandwidth-hoggers’ such as YouTube and other video-streaming services.
Reduced Inappropriate Content
Imposing web content filtering protocols and educating your employees about phishing attacks and malware can go a long way in making your network fast and secure. However, some users will still deliberately access or download inappropriate content that can compromise your network or, worse, your company’s reputation.
Web filtering greatly reduces -- if not completely eliminates -- the probability of such an event. With the right URL filtering in place, your company can avoid having to deal with the legal hassles resulting from malicious internet usage, which may involve pornographic material or copyrighted content.
Minimized company liability
The advantages of web content filtering go beyond just network security and efficiency. Filtering also fosters a stronger organization by avoiding liabilities resulting from deliberate or accidental access to scandalous web content, which is true for small businesses as it is for large enterprises.
A company actively monitoring web usage is able to mitigate disasters resulting from employees misusing the internet, unknowingly posting offensive content on social media, blogs, or, worse, illegally using company resources.
URL filtering may not solve all your network security concerns, but it does a great job of protecting you from security breaches. Fluid Networks is comprised of engineers who are experts in deploying a multi-level approach to network security. We work with or as your IT team, study your network infrastructure, and develop plans based on the needs of your business. If you need robust network security services, get in touch or call our Helpdesk at 805.856.1806.