Content Filtering Your Network

it support newsletter

Not Content Filtering? Don’t Push Your ‘Luck’

Look around your office. Isn’t it great to see your team hard at work on their computers? Yet if we take a closer look, let’s see what’s really happening…

Joe, your new sales rep, is poring over last weekend’s game stats…byod content filtering

Amy in marketing is looking for a new job, surfing your competitors’ websites, chatting with their HR people…

Wes, over in customer support, just bogged down your entire network by downloading a video file of Metallica in concert…

Guy, your new hire in shipping, is on hotdate.com, viewing questionable photos…

Bob in accounting is browsing stock-investing sites, in search of a hot tip…

Okay, so maybe it’s not that bad at your company. But this type of behavior will happen to some degree if you don’t proactively prevent it. The real problem is, unfiltered content often links to malware and other threats. Ignore it and you risk productivity losses, legal liabilities, extortion, blackmail and fraud. And not only that, the resulting data loss and corruption can cost your company big-time. Cyber threats stemming from unfiltered content aren’t something you can count on your lucky leprechaun or four-leaf clover to protect you from.

In today’s business environment, content filtering has becoming a greater challenge than ever before. Your company must at least be doing some content filtering at the network level. Allowing your employees unbridled access to the internet exposes your company to the entire gamut of security threats (in the form of malware, virues, etc.) as well as loss of productivity and even legal trouble!

Are You Making Any Of These Mistakes?

You need a secure network. Residential-grade routers (think Linksys, D-Link, Netgear) do not filter your network’s traffic. You need a commercial-grade firewall (like Cisco, Fortinet or Sonicwall) to allow/deny network traffic based on a set of rules. Alternatively, endpoint protection software like ESET can be configured to monitor and deny traffic as well. Many of these solutions can deny based on known website categories. Regardless of which approach you take, content filtering adds an extra layer of protection against computer infection, and can serve to keep employees focused.

But make ANY of the following mistakes with network security and you could be a sitting duck:

  1. Leaving contect filtering out of your overall security plan. Unmanaged security invites disaster. An unprotected or improperly designed solution exposes holes that hackers love to find.
  1. You cannot set it and forget it. Cyber threats are adapting every day. You need a comprehensive security review at least once a quarter.
  1. Failing to set security policies, protocols and training. Believing that tech tools alone will keep your network secure is a recipe for breaches. In fact, no technology can keep a network safe if users cut corners.

So, What Exactly Should You Filter?

Forrester Research states that companies whose users access the cloud should:

  • Detect and intercept unusual or fraudulent activities related to data in the cloud.
  • Detect, neutralize and eliminate malware in cloud platforms.
  • Detect and monitor unsanctioned cloud applications and platforms usage.
  • Protect against leaks of confidential information.
  • Encrypt structured and unstructured data in cloud platforms.
  • Investigate suspicious users and incidents.

With more complex cyber threats being developed every single day, you simply can’t afford to run around putting out fires. You MUST proactively defend your network in depth with content filtering.


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What To NEVER Do When Decidingbyod

By Robert Stevenson

We all have to make decisions every day. Some decisions we make require little thought and the consequences will not be earth-shattering or career-changing. But there are other decisions we have to make that can have an enormous impact on our lives.

A while back, I had to make a very big decision. I sought out counsel from people I respect and I measured all the pros and cons. I tried to consider all the “what if’s” and I assessed the consequences of doing it or not doing it. I received advice that ranged from “You should absolutely take the offer, no questions asked” to “No way take the offer, it’s not in your favor.” I’d been working toward this goal for several years, and when the offer came in writing…I turned it down.

So, what pushed me to say “NO” to the offer? What really helped me decide were two things. The first thing was, there was a huge “what if” question that had a very bad result, if all didn’t go well. The second thing was a statement they made: “This is our standard agreement that is non-negotiable.” Everything in business is negotiable, and they just told me it isn’t. That one statement made me start reevaluating everything…and to finally make a decision to say “NO.”

I started thinking that once we began doing business together, what else was going to be “non-negotiable”? That one statement triggered me to start considering alternatives, options, other possibilities and a new direction I could pursue if I said “NO” to their offer. I felt reenergized, stimulated, excited about the other options, and, even more surprising to myself…I was feeling no remorse about saying “NO.”

Who is to say I made the right or wrong decision? Some people might say, “Only time will tell,” but I still have a great deal to do with…the story that will be told. In all my years in business, I have learned two very important things about making decisions.

Ask yourself if you can live with the consequences if it fails…because if you can’t live with it, don’t do it.

NEVER doubt your decision, NEVER look back, NEVER SECOND-GUESS…because if you do, those actions will help to sabotage your decision.

My job now is to make my new direction the right direction, the right choice, the right decision. You should never make a decision because it is the easiest thing to do, nor should you make it based on convenience, and, most importantly, never “second-guess” the decision you made.

Former President Harry S. Truman once stated: “Once a decision was made, I didn’t worry about it afterward.” I would recommend we all follow his advice; I know I do.

The Fastest Way To Kill A Good Decision…Is To Second-Guess It.


Useful Tidbits

Stanford scientists have created an air conditioner that cools by beaming heat into deep space. The journal Nature recently published a paper describing a whole new way to cool and refrigerate. A device called a thermal emitter sends heat through the atmosphere without being radiated back. It works because the atmosphere surrounding the earth is “transparent” to heat emissions at a frequency of 8-13 micrometers. And, at about -454 degrees Fahrenheit, deep space is “very” cold. By beaming heat energy into deep space, researchers reduced the temperature of an experimental device by 42 degrees in relation to its surrounding environment in just half an hour. Practical uses include cooling of buildings, harvesting renewable energy and carrying out refrigeration in arid parts of the world. Digital Trends, 12.21.16


Recent Firefox changes are bringing it up to par with Chrome and Internet Explorer. There’s a lot going on inside your Internet browser that you may not aware of. Firefox has lagged behind other browsers in being able to run a diversity of extensions so none of them can invade and manipulate other parts of the browser. However, in 2015, Firefox introduced a new extension system that allows it to catch up with other browsers. Mozilla, maker of Firefox, says that in Firefox version 50, browser responsiveness has improved by 400% due to the changes. This upgrade has been a long time coming, but when it’s complete, Firefox will be able to offer the same kind of performance and safety offered by other major browsers. ArsTechnica.com, 12.21.16


Russia has erased LinkedIn from app stores. In November 2016, Russia ruled LinkedIn to be in violation of a 2014 law requiring all data collected on Russian citizens to be stored within Russian borders. The law has been widely viewed as a first step toward more aggressive surveillance measures. For that reason, many web companies are declining to relocate data centers in order to comply with the law. While Russia’s data localization laws are among the most aggressive, it’s far from the only country with such requirements. Apple caught flak earlier this year for pulling its New York Times app from China due to similar measures. And even the US requires that Department of Defense partners store data within US borders. TheVerge.com, 01.06.17


Getting fit (and relaxed) just got easier with the Fitbit Charge 2. If you’ve ever needed to stop during a tracked exercise, you’ll like the Fitbit Charge 2’s new workout pause function. It also now lets you view on-screen exercise summaries for an hour following your workout. There’s a new on-display battery indicator and a function that lets you see your heart-rate zone on the display screen so you can monitor how close you are to your max HR. The new Fitbit Charge 2 also sports vibration prompts for breathing in and out, handy for keeping your eyes closed while getting your dose of mindfulness. It’s even added a “Do Not Disturb” mode that helps cut stress by letting you stop incoming notifications. Wareable.com, 12.21.16


Security company? Activists? Or cybercriminal gang… A group calling itself OurMine prides itself on hacking the social media accounts of high-profile people and companies. They’ve taken over the Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest profiles of well-known businesses, including Netflix, Forbes and BuzzFeed, as well as noteworthy high-tech CEOs, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Google’s Sundar Pichai. They use their victims’ accounts to post messages like “Hey, it’s OurMine, Don’t worry, we are just testing your security, contact us to tell you more about that.” When contacted by Mashable about what they planned to do with the Netflix Twitter account they’d hijacked, OurMine replied, “We are not planning to do anything with the account.” Evidently, they just like the publicity. Mashable, 12.21.16http://mashable.com/2016/12/21/netflix-twitter-hacked/ – RXkdsmeALmqh