3 Important Facts You Should Know About Web Security

If your organization wants to plan for and implement effective web security, there are a number of things to consider and look out for.  There is more to web security than using software that monitors employees and filters web threats.

Here are three facts that you should be aware of when preparing your strategy for web security:

1. Safe Browsing

Safe Browsing plays a central role in web security and it doesn’t only depend on having the technology to ensure this happens.  Employee awareness and education are also important and will help them to be proactive and aware of the potential risks while browsing the internet.

The discussion on guidelines and best practices for safe browsing is a broad topic, however, it should cover, among other things, knowledge of which sites to avoid, how to spot phishing sites and to pay extra attention to websites that are likely to carry malware.

Technology then comes in handy to ensure that those using the company Internet comply with the guidelines at all times.  Education and technology go hand-in-hand.

2. Internet Usage Policy

Following the previous point, an Internet Usage Policy is a must as it will help users understand which sites are safe to browse by setting rules and clearly defining borders.  The policy should also determine what Internet usage is acceptable and which web browsing limits users must adhere to.  The Internet Usage Policy is also important for administrators because their web security configuration will be based on the content of this policy.

One word of warning: your Internet Usage Policy should not be too restrictive as it may hinder people from actually getting work done.  It could also affect morale, resulting in lower productivity.  A balance is needed between the organization’s security needs and what is fair and required by employees.

3. Internet Usage Control

Web security requires more than the installation of a firewall or putting antivirus software on users’ machines.   The technological heart of any good web security and monitoring software is Internet usage control.

Amongst many things, Internet usage control involves filtering out websites that might contain malware or those sites users visit for non-work related browsing.  Good web security software would make use of a large database of potentially harmful sites and group these into preset categories so that an administrator can choose which categories to block or allow.

Internet usage control also ensures that no excessive bandwidth is consumed, and that no user is abusing his/her Internet privileges.  It also checks that any application downloaded by users is not infected with malware.

The three aspects of web security mentioned may require time and effort to implement correctly, but is without doubt necessary to keep your network safe.  It is certainly better to spend time preening your web security strategy than dealing with an infection, breach or downtime.

This guest post was provided by Emmanuel Carabott on behalf of GFI Software Ltd. GFI is a leading software developer that provides a single source for network administrators to address their network security, content security and messaging needs. Learn more on what to include in your web security strategy.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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