7 Deadly IT Sins – Web Filtering

In most businesses today, Internet access has become an integral to business productivity. Yet, when considering how to best utilize online resources within your organization, many business owners forget to factor in security. This is where web filtering comes into play.

Web filtering is an essential component of an IT security strategy. Yet, remaining completely secure while online is a issue that countless businesses struggle with every year. In today’s blog post, we are going to delve into some of the aspects of web filtering solutions that are specifically geared towards a very strong security posture.

Web_FilteringWeb Filtering – The Issues

Proper web filtering is important to keeping users productive and limiting the amount of time your IT support has to spend cleaning up compromised computers. However, online threats present themselves in many forms. Let’s discuss a few components of web filtering solutions that need to be taken into consideration:

URL & Site Filtering

Blocking users from getting to certain sites used to be a lot more effective when it came to protecting companies from web-borne threats. The entire concept revolved around keeping users from accessing certain sites, such as adult industry, gambling, and other sites. This was effective at the time because these “shadier” parts of the web were much more likely to be infected with malware. Also, in addition to protecting company computers and network systems, employees were more productive because they could only access the sites they needed to.

Sadly, this is no longer as effective at protecting systems. In fact, some studies have shown that 80% of malicious URL attacks come from legitimate sites that have been compromised. Still, making sure that inappropriate sites are not able to be accessed through your network reduces your threat surface area.

Deep Scanning for Threats

While scanning your network for threats is a good start, it’s not the only control that is needed to keep your users and your data safe. One of the components of your web filtering solution should be to scan the sites that you are allowing to be browsed and alerting you to any issues before they hit your browser. It is also important that your solution scans for threats on all sites, not just ones whom have legitimacy concerns. SophosLabs reported that of the new malicious threats that are detected everyday, many of them are coming from very large websites, such as news outlets or government websites.

Protection from Drive-by Downloads

This is another very common example of how users are compromised while they are online. Drive-by downloads differ from other threats in that they can infect your computer by just having the user visit a compromised site. This means that in order for the attack to be successful, nothing has to be clicked on or downloaded.

Users are especially vulnerable to this type of attack if their browsers or plugins are not kept up to date. Yet, effectively controlling patches and updates across an organization without a patch management system poses many challenges. (See our blog about Common Patch Management Problems for more details).

Web Filtering – How Orion and Sophos can Help

When deciding how to best protect your organization from falling victim to delinquent web filtering practices, allow Orion and Sophos to help you! Orion’s Web Security Services team has extensive experience in providing holistic security services to web-facing applications, including Web Application Risk Assessment, 24/7 Attack Monitoring and Alerting, and Firewall Implementation and Management.

Our expert services are enhanced through Sophos’ industry leading security products. Sophos’ Secure Web Gateway solution provides world-class web security, controls, and insights so you know your system is always protected.

Secure Web Gateway ensures that you receive the most advanced protection from the latest drive-by and targeted threats. Specific features include:

  • SophosLabs Threat Intelligence
  • Advanced Web Malware Protection
  • Live Web Protection


All of this is available with extreme deployment flexibility, so that you can get the ultimate protection regardless of your infrastructure set up. Orion’s award-winning Sophos services will help you to set up and install the solution, ensuring that your system is properly configured to your network.

Additionally, our Managed Security experts can help you with all of your patch management needs. By controlling this process, you can help further protect your users from drive-by attacks, which specifically target known vulnerabilities.

For a free trial of Sophos Web Gateway, Click Here.

For more information about how Orion can help you with all of your information security needs, contact us today.

By | 2017-03-24T13:47:48-04:00 July 15th, 2015|Security, Sophos|

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