What is Content Filtering?
Content Filtering (also known as information filtering) involves using a program to prevent access or availability to Web pages or email that may be deemed harmful if opened. The most common items to filter are applications, emails or websites. Content filters can be implemented either as software or via a hardware-based solution.
How does Content Filtering work?
Content filtering works by matching strings of characters. When the strings match, the content is not allowed through. Content filters are often part of Internet firewalls. In such usage content filtering is serving a security purpose, but content filtering is also used to implement company policies related to information system usage. For example, it’s common to filter websites containing inappropriate materials or social/entertainment networking sites unrelated to work.
How can CompIT help your business?
At CompIT Solutions, we provide the most top of the line content filtering engines (such as Content Watch, Smoothwall, Websense, Spytech, Sonicwall, Eset, OpenDNS, etc.) to our clients. We are here to make sure our clients get the most out of their employees, valuable bandwidth and resources.
What are the benefits of Content Filtering to organizations?
- Content filtering allows filtering in all applications, including: Internet, chat, instant messaging, e-mail, e-mail attachments, Word, PowerPoint and all other Windows applications. The software is integrated at the Operating System level so that the content in any windows event are compared against the libraries to determine if the content is inappropriate, such as opening files in explorer.
- Content filtering fills the largest security hole in a company’s network. Statistics (CSI) state that 70 to 80% of all security breaches occur from within the organization. Content monitoring can monitor for and stop the accidental or intentional disclosure of a company’s Intellectual Property, confidential information or other nonpublic content that can be accessed or disclosed electronically.
- Working in conjunction with Human Resources training and Acceptable Use Policy deployment, the Acceptable Use Policy informs the employee of what is expected from them as a computer user, while the content monitoring/filtering monitors and reports on compliance thus changing a computer user’s behavior by making them responsible for adhering to the organizations Acceptable Use Policy and computing activities.
- Content filtering uses screen captures of each violation with user name, date, time, application, and violation stamp to assist as part of a solution to provide the forensic data needed to protect the company.
- Content monitoring is ideal for establishing an employee awareness program. When inappropriate data is discovered, organizations can choose to make users aware of the policy or notify employees by blocking the offensive content.
- Utilization of the Policy Central application results in full disclosure of the organization’s policy to all employees so it remains non-repudiated.
- Does not require the daily updates to keep the database effective and current.
- Content filtering does not filter out the good content with the bad. Content filtering libraries have been developed to distinguish the difference between uncensored explicit material vs. material that is scientific and medical in nature. Content filtering also eliminates the need to block out vast amounts of educational material to stop small amounts of uncensored material found on a particular site.
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