Network performance is a common challenge for many companies because of the multiple service and web applications requests from users. Although in time of digital transformation access to online content is a fuel for many activities, not all requests are well aligned with business goals.
There are countless examples of users who use part of their productive time accessing trivial information on news websites, keeping up with information on social networks and even entertaining themselves with games.
In these cases, time is money.
What is a Secure Web Gateway?
To keep the level of productivity, content filters can help companies greatly. Also known as Secure Web Gateway, these controls are able to monitor any communication requests to web applications. Also, the information collected can be used to better scale the use of network resources.
This type of feature is a security layer indeed, since it has capabilities to analyze suspicious (even encrypted) traffic in real time, evaluating the reputation of URLs, browsers, files and applications. But on the other hand, companies can use them to reinforce in their policies, habits that promote better results for their team:
- It prioritizes bandwidth for essential network resources;
- It prevents inappropriate or improper content;
- It protects users while browsing.
But maybe you still do not understand the benefits of this type of feature. Let’s highlight some:
Helps increase productivity
Think of your users using part of your company’s bandwidth to download videos or to access streaming services, for example. There are two obvious impacts on this type of behavior. First, the user can wander through these entertainment features and accomplish less than expected goals that were established for them. Second, part of the band is being used for purposes other than those essential to the business.
Depending on the application used, user’s recreational activity may even promote poor performance for other essential network resources.
Although blocking access to any web service is not the solution in every situation, it is possible to adopt filters to direct how users behave. For example, you can establish rules for accessing certain applications or addresses at lunchtime, but restrict during working hours.
Protect against the misinformation
The information security industry always repeats that the user is the weakest link in the chain. This is closely related to the level of good practice information people have when using online resources.
There are several types of threats in the web, many types of scam that attempt to mislead the uninformed. For this, the content filters have category classification, which can be selected by companies according to their security policy. For example, you can restrict access to online game sites, where there are many phishing threats and cryptomining scripts.
Suspicious traffic can lead to the transport of malware and virus. Many techniques for attacking web applications can be avoided by controlling potentially malicious addresses, which are classified by the intelligence bases used by this type of control.
Decrease legal risks
Each user accesses information so varied that without proper control, losing productivity may be the least of problems. What if some users are accessing illegal content?
In these cases, the company ends up being co-responsible for the activities of their users on the web.
Like inappropriate content categories, filters can restrict potentially risky keywords to the business. The adoption of this type of rule can eliminate the risk of browsing pornography, drugs, violence, discrimination and other subjects.
In summary, content filters can be used as a productivity or security feature. But the great news is that regardless of the purpose of your company, both advantages can be achieved successfully.