In the end of 2008, Entensys released a new version of UserGate Proxy & Firewall that included a content filtering tool. This feature enables the administrator to allow or deny users access to certain categories of websites.
The filtering tool’s work is based on the following principle. When a user is trying to connect to a website from a corporate LAN, anonymous data containing website address and classification request (this request is later used to allow or deny access depending on the policy of the company that uses UserGate Proxy & Firewall) is sent to the content filtering server where it is stored and becomes available for further assessment.
We have analyzed information collected over the course of three months. The normal divergence was found to be within the range of 0.1% to 1.5%, depending on the category. Thus, taking into account the specifics of data samples, the results can be considered reliable.
The study was devoted solely to the usage of Internet at work. The reliability of the data samples is confirmed by the fact we analyzed information provided by enterprises from different industry sectors (see the chart below).
The content of websites visited by employees at work has been one of the employers’ concerns ever since the Internet became a globally- used working tool. The uncontrolled usage of web resources is a problem for businesses that have to deal with the unexpected extra traffic costs and face the threat of malicious software infiltrating their local area networks and potentially causing loss or misappropriation of corporate information.
Moreover, the Internet offers a wide range of entertainment opportunities. Therefore, apart from evident potential threats associated with the Internet, businesses face the problem of Internet abuse during business hours, which is inevitable among employees suffering from low motivation. Quite obviously, this problem also causes businesses significant costs.
Until recently, businesses had only two ways of defending themselves against these risks – either through administrative action, or by monitoring and controlling the corporate resources. Now, new software solutions appear on the market that offers businesses additional opportunities to withstand Internet threats.
Analysis of research conducted in the 2nd Quarter of 2009 resulted in the following rating chart of website categories popular among employees:
Social networks, personal sites and blogs
Sites devoted to computers and Internet
Different categories of sites not related to work
Economics and business
News and media
Online mail services
Parked domains and ‘dead sites’
Entertainment and games
Sites containing malicious software
Video hosting sites
Pornographic and adult sites
Personal online file storage services
Education and research
Online messengers, instant messengers
Online music stores
Peer-to-peer and torrent networks
Note: The item Different categories of sites not related to work includes websites featuring such topics as beauty and health, cars, sports, etc.