Are you aware of the importance of URL filtering for your organization's security and liability?

URL filtering

The challenges of URL filtering for your company

To control access to online content, URL filtering has proved its worth in French companies. Installing a system to filter out illegal websites and malicious content is highly recommended for :

  • Protect the sensitive data of the organization and its employees;
  • Comply with applicable legal requirements;
  • Increase employee productivity.

Our guide to URL filtering will help you to understand the importance of URL blocking in business, and to implement a cyber-defense solution tailored to your needs:

  1. What is URL filtering?
  2. Why use URL filtering?
  3. An effective URL filtering solution in a nutshell:
  4. Best practices in URL filtering

What is URL filtering?

Cybersecurity specialists recommend the use of filtering to prevent employees from accessing certain websites. Before adopting it, it's crucial to understand what URL filtering involves:

  • How does it work?
  • What are the advantages?

Technically :

URL filtering works simply. A server, called a filtering proxy, acts as an intermediary between the user and the website.

When an employee attempts to access a site, the filtering proxy analyzes the request and compares the site URL with a database in line with the company's filtering policy. This database, containing a list of malicious URLs, enables the proxy to authorize or deny access:

  • If the URL is not listed in the database, the proxy authorizes access, as the site is deemed safe;
  • If the URL is present in the database, access is denied, as the site is potentially dangerous.

The goal behind URL filtering:

Employees may see URL filtering as a restriction on their access to the Internet. However, today, implementing an Internet access filtering solution is crucial to ensuring a satisfactory level of security. It is therefore essential to clearly explain the reasons, benefits and challenges of implementing such a solution, to ensure its acceptance.

Impact on employees' work

Originally, filtering systems were primarily designed to prevent employees from accessing sites that were detrimental to their productivity. Today, although employees can still access these sites via their smartphones, URL filtering minimizes distractions at their workstations, promoting concentration and efficiency.

Who bears the legal responsibility?

Employers are legally liable when an Internet connection is made available to employees in the workplace:

  • If an employee downloads illegal content, the company can be prosecuted;
  • If an employee uses the connection for malicious activities, the employer is liable.

Cyber security

URL filtering is primarily aimed at strengthening corporate cybersecurity. When surfing the Internet, employees can click on malicious links or access prohibited sites, compromising the security of the organization's data and infrastructure. Blocking such access from the outset helps prevent online threats.

Why use URL filtering?

Let's take a closer look at the benefits of implementing a URL filter in your company.

Enhancing safety to boost productivity

URL filtering can prevent employees from visiting malicious sites, as well as sites unrelated to their work, such as social networks, streaming platforms and online gaming sites. This helps limit distractions and improve productivity, and above all reduces the possibility of employees being tricked by phishing sites and other threats with their work tools. Indeed, it's important to note that employees can still access these sites via their personal devices.

Special cases

To secure Internet access for mobile employees, DNS filtering services are available. This service is also suitable for the public sector, to secure public wifi networks.

Ensuring compliance and legal liability

Companies are obliged to comply with the various legal regulations governing IT security and Internet access. Under article 6 of the French law on confidence in the digital economy (LCEN), companies must set up filters and retain connection data for one year.

We strongly recommend:

  • Implement a filtering solution in addition to your firewall and antivirus for optimized protection of your entire information system;
  • Keep network connection logs for 365 days;
  • Encourage employees to use a separate wifi network for personal use;
  • Raise awareness and train employees to recognize and adopt the right behavior when faced with a threat.

What are the legal risks incurred by your entity in the event of default?

  • Employers incur civil and criminal liability in the event of failure to secure their IT systems.
  • If an employee downloads illegal content, the employer can be held criminally liable, as stipulated by the HADOPI law.
  • If an employee uses the Internet connection for malicious activity, the employer can be sued under civil law.
  • We invite you to discover our webinar led by our legal expert to better understand the legal implications of content access filtering.

Optimize your company's cybersecurity

URL filtering protects companies by blocking various threats:

  • Phishing: this method of stealing sensitive information, such as passwords and bank details, can be prevented by blocking fraudulent sites and e-mails.
  • Malware: malicious software such as viruses, ransomware and spyware can cause considerable damage. URL filtering helps prevent these attacks.
  • Access to illegal sites: sites devoted to child pornography, terrorism or arms sales are prohibited. Blocking such access protects the company and its employees.

An effective URL filtering solution in a nutshell:

An effective URL filtering solution must have an extensive, real-time updated database, offering precise categorization and customizable filters. It must ensure reliable detection and blocking of malicious URLs, be flexible and adaptable to specific corporate needs, and offer a user-friendly interface with responsive technical support. Compatibility with existing infrastructures and easy integration with other security tools are also essential.

A solid URL database :

The URL filtering database must be exhaustive and constantly updated. At Olfeo, our database contains over 20 million domains, covering hundreds of millions of URLs. This completeness ensures 99.5% query recognition.

Fine-tuned categorization

Precise categorization of sites is essential. Olfeo offers a list of 9 themes and 100 categories, enabling companies to customize filters according to their needs. Certain categories of employees can thus benefit from specific access privileges.

Best practices in URL filtering

If you're thinking of choosing Olfeo to control and secure the web content accessible to your employees, here's how to optimize security in your organization:

Key stages in setting up URL filtering

Installing and setting up a URL filtering solution requires careful planning. We provide a practical guide detailing all the necessary steps. Our technicians are also available to support you in implementing our tool.

User awareness and training

When integrating a URL filtering solution, it is crucial to raise awareness and train employees. A good understanding of the benefits of the system reduces resistance to its use. To help you, Olfeo offers a white paper and an e-learning platform, Olfeo Awareness, to facilitate online security awareness.

Filtering has become essential to protect networks from cyber-attacks, ensure legal compliance and improve productivity. Choose a powerful and efficient filtering solution to meet these needs.

Would you like to invest in our URL filtering tool to secure your network? Not sure which solution to choose? Book a free consultation with one of our experts to assess your company's specific needs and discover the benefits of our software!