DeMISTIfying Infosec: Content Filtering

By Katherine Teitler

System administrators have the ability to tune content filtering programs or software to specify character strings at the packet level of the proxy server and set the filter to allow/deny categorical traffic. The filters can be applied to control the amount of time employees spend on given websites; block suspicious URLs altogether; identify unsafe domains and/or text strings; and deny attachments, redirects, viruses, cookies, pop-ups, certain media types, etc. In addition, admins can set content filters to send alerts, auto archive/sandbox information, or record screenshots. Some commercial offerings can aggregate security warnings from across the web and send alerts or block/deny based on known threats.

Content filtering is sometimes confused with URL blocking, though URL blocking is more of an “all or nothing” approach to allow/deny URLs from an identified set in a database. Content filtering, on the other hand, can block a piece of information without knowing anything about the server.

Get the DeMISTIfying InfoSec newsletter every Tuesday!


Get daily email updates

SC Media's daily must-read of the most current and pressing daily news

By clicking the Subscribe button below, you agree to SC Media Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.