Back in the late 90’s when the Internet was just starting out companies began introducing Web Proxies or filters. The purpose of these was to ensure that the small amount of bandwidth (yes 1Mbps was fast then!) was utilised purely for business purposes. This meant no Facebook, music downloads, games or other non-related business activities.
As Internet speeds have dramatically increased and social media has become interwoven into day-to-day business, companies have become a lot less strict and for small businesses at least, Internet access is commonly not restricted.
Leaving your corporate Internet freely open is a very bad idea due to the amount of malware and attacks that happen from porn sites and free games. In fact recent research predicts that 50% of porn sites have malware and according to the Telegraph 1 in 10 employees watch porn while at work.
And it gets worse. Putting aside employee dodgy browsing, there are many other attacks that can happen unless you use a Web Proxy. For example, your entire network could be part of a Botnet (which is a vast number of machines under control for orchestrated attacks) and helping to take down a site using DDOS. Major attacks like this have taken the following sites offline in the past PayPal, Carphone Warehouse, Visa, BBC and TalkTalk. You can be completely oblivious to this with standard Antivirus and Malware protection.
However, a Web Proxy, especially a Cloud aware Web Proxy, can detect where all of your traffic is going, it can see all of the traffic going to one location and then automatically block it.
Which is best?
As with most technologies there are a whole host of different options available, however nowadays I think the solution has to be Cloud based. And that’s not because I’m following the trend, but purely because it ensures the system is truly scalable, and most importantly, it remains up-to-date with the latest threats. If computing moves fast, nothing moves quicker than security and the huge array of vulnerabilities that come out every day. If it is not Cloud enabled, it is simply not up-to-date.
Examples include Virtela, Cyblock and TitanHQ, however I think these do not even come close to the scale, control and ease of OpenDNS Umbrella. The internet would pretty much grind to halt (at least for a while) if OpenDNS went offline as they process a staggering 80 billion DNS queries a day.
That means that because of the vast amount of data that they are dealing with, no one else can come close to having a true picture of the sites online, what they are offering, if they are infected and the general flow of traffic.
With their simple control panel and fantastic dashboards, I think it is a must-have security service for every business, large or small.
If this is of interest, please get in touch and we can arrange a 30-day trial.
Priority One – London IT Security