A cloud based web filtering solution is a web filter that is provided as software-as-a-service (SaaS) by a cloud service provider. These web filtering solutions perform the same functions as traditional on-premises web filtering appliances and software solutions, but they are delivered in the cloud.
The IT hardware on which these solutions are run is generally provided by a major cloud platform provider such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud. The cloud platform provider is responsible for providing, maintaining, and upgrading the hardware and ensuring constant availability. The software solutions are developed, maintained, and updated by cloud service providers such as TitanHQ. TitanHQ’s cloud based web filtering solution, TitanHQ Cloud, is hosted on Amazon AWS in TitanHQ’s cloud, although there is the option of having the solution hosted in a dedicated private cloud, or within the data centers of service providers – managed service providers for instance.
One of the main reasons why cloud computing has become so popular is there is no need to actually own IT assets, you just need access to them. Purchasing server infrastructure and setting up your own data center is costly, and on top of that, you then need to pay for the software you want to run on that hardware. Companies that wish to operate everything on-premises need major capital investment, but the cloud means that is no longer necessary – Businesses can rent exactly what they need when they need it. Cloud computing has given businesses access to the most advanced technologies without having to purchase expensive equipment and pay skilled staff to maintain it, and thanks to the scalability of the cloud, capacity can be adjusted upwards or downwards and can be right-sized to perfectly meet the needs of the business.
Benefits of Cloud Cybersecurity Solutions
Many businesses are completing their cloud transformations and are moving all IT operations to the cloud due to the cost benefits of doing so and the flexibility that is offered by the cloud, but that is not appropriate for all businesses. Cloud costs can fluctuate, and if there is a strict operating budget – such as in education – migrating to the cloud may not be possible, but it is possible to take advantage of SaaS offerings, even for businesses that still have their own on-premises infrastructure.
Microsoft 365 and Salesforce are great examples. Businesses can use Microsoft’s productivity suite – Microsoft 365 – without having to pay for costly licenses, instead, they can sign up for a subscription and pay as they go. The same is true of Salesforce, which is hugely popular with businesses. Salesforce provides customer relationship management software and applications focused on sales and customer service. Cybersecurity solutions are often cloud-delivered and offer the same advantages. Rather than having to pay for hardware or software licenses which are a capital expense, businesses can pay for these services and benefit from low monthly or annual payments, which is an operational expense. They also get the flexibility and scalability of the cloud, with the services adapting to meet the needs of the business, yet the costs of using these solutions are fixed and predictable.
There are other important benefits that come from cloud cybersecurity solutions. These solutions are easy to implement, as there is no IT infrastructure to set up nor any software to install – The solutions are delivered as 100% cloud-based services. There is no need to maintain the software, as all software updates are handled by the service provider. Users are provided with a login to a web-based interface where they can configure the solution to meet the needs of the business. Getting started with these solutions doesn’t require extensive technical knowledge, IT hardware experience, or even experience in installing software solutions. With a cloud based web filtering solution, all you need to do is point your DNS to the service provider, which is a quick and simple process that will take a couple of minutes.
Cloud Based Web Filtering
A cloud based web filtering solution has two main purposes – to block cyber threats that are encountered or delivered via the web and to exercise control over the applications, websites, and web pages that can be accessed by network users. WiFi hotspot providers, which include cities, airports, hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, and coffee shops, that offer WiFi for free or at a cost to customers, often do not want to provide full access to the Internet. There are certain types of content that they may want to restrict access to, such as adult content, illegal website content, or competitors’ websites. Businesses may want to block adult content and websites that are often used by employees for personal purposes that can have a major impact on productivity – gambling sites, gaming sites, streaming sites, and social media networks. Schools and libraries that offer Internet access often apply controls to ensure that potentially harmful content cannot be accessed and any content not suitable for minors. Cloud based web filtering solutions allow content to be blocked by domain, URL, category of sites, and the presence of certain administrator-defined keywords. There are highly granular controls to allow precision filtering without overblocking, and filtering rules can be set universally, for user groups, locations, certain hotspots, or individual users.
The blocking of malicious and illegal content is achieved through the use of blacklists, which are either maintained by the service provider or third parties. Those blacklists are constantly updated as new web content is published. Certain domains can be whitelisted to ensure no filtering ever takes place, even if the websites contain content that may trigger other filtering settings. This may be necessary if certain websites get blocked, resulting in lots of requests from users to unblock certain website pages. All of these settings are easy to apply through the web-based user interface of a cloud based web filtering product, which can be accessed by administrators from any location with Internet access, subject to authentication.
TitanHQ’s Cloud Web Filtering Service – WebTitan Cloud
We have developed what we believe to be the best cloud web filtering service for SMBs and MSPs. Our cloud based web filter – WebTitan Cloud – is quick and easy to implement and requires no technical expertise. The user interface is intuitive and setting filtering controls is simple, with filtering possible with precision using URL, category, and keyword-based filtering and WebTitan Cloud is flexible to suit the needs of businesses of all sizes.
WebTitan Cloud is fast. All filtering takes place in the cloud with zero latency, with scans conducted of all inbound and outbound traffic. In addition to blocking access to malicious or undesirable content, WebTitan Cloud checks outbound DNS requests, which can Identify misuse, such as malware communications. WebTitan Cloud has 6 dedicated real-time blacklists, with the potential to add more, and is fed threat intelligence from a network of more than 600 million endpoints worldwide, ensuring rapid protection for all users whenever a threat is discovered.
WebTitan Cloud will block access to malicious websites such as those used for phishing, malware, and ransomware distribution, and provides real-time monitoring of malicious threats with unparalleled speed, scale, and accuracy. The solution can protect users from threats and apply filtering controls no matter where individuals access the Internet. Our cloud based web filtering solution also incorporates an extensive suite of reports that provide full visibility into online activity, including real-time views down to the individual level.
WebTitan Cloud is one of the highest-rated cloud based web filtering solutions on independent review sites and platforms, including G2, Expert Insights, Capterra, Spiceworks, and PeerSpot, and is praised for its threat blocking capabilities, ease of installation, ease of use, customer support, and price.
To find out more about our cloud based web filtering solution give the TitanHQ team a call and your questions will be answered, and product demonstrations can be arranged on request. You are also welcome to take advantage of the free trial to find out for yourself how easy the solution is to use and how effective it is at blocking access to certain web content and online threats.