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Control Web Activity with URL Filtering

Acting as the perfect complement to policy-based application control provided by App-ID is an on-box URL filtering database that provides control over related web activity. By addressing the lack of visibility and control from both the application and web perspective, enterprises are safeguarded from a full spectrum of legal, regulatory, productivity and resource utilization risks.

Database for URL Filtering

On-box URL database maximizes performance and flexibility.

URL filtering is enabled by utilizing local lookups as well as querying a master database in the cloud. Local lookups ensure maximum, inline performance and minimal latency for the most frequently accessed URLs, while cloud lookups provide coverage for the latest sites. Using the combination of application control and URL filtering, flexible policies can be implemented to control employee and network activity.

  • Control web browsing based on category or through customized white-, or black-lists.
  • Specify group-based web browsing policies with user repository integration provided by User-ID.
  • Enable SSL decryption policies by allowing encrypted access to specific web sites such as health, finance and shopping while decrypting traffic to all other sites such as blogs, forums, and entertainment.
  • Enable bandwidth control for designated categories by creating QoS policies for specified URL categories.

URL Database

Customizable URL database and categories.

To account for each organization's unique traffic patterns, on-device caches are used to store the most recently accessed URLs.  Devices can also automatically query a master database in the cloud for URL category information when a URL is not found on-device.  Lookup results are automatically inserted into the cache for future activity.  Additionally, administrators can create custom URL categories to suit their specific needs.

Block page for URL filtering

Customizable end-user notifications.

Multiple options are available to satisfy the varied requirements for informing end users that they are attempting to visit a web page that does not adhere to corporate policy.

  • Customizable block page: The page informing a user that they are violating policy can include the corporate logo, references to the username, IP address, the URL attempting to be accessed and the category of the URL.
  • URL filtering block and continue: Users accessing a page that potentially violates URL filtering policy, can be presented with a block page "Warning and Continue" button is presented to the user, allowing them to proceed if they feel the site is acceptable.
  • URL filtering override: Requires a user to correctly enter a password in order to bypass the block page and continue surfing.

IT Security Policy Enforcement

Flexible, policy-based control over web usage.

As a complement to the application visibility and control enabled by App-ID, URL categories can be used as a match criteria for policies. Instead of creating policies that are limited to either allowing all or blocking all behavior, using URL category as a match criteria allows for exception based behavior, resulting in increased flexibility, yet more granular policy enforcement. Examples of how URL categories can be used in policy include:

  • Identify and allow exceptions to general security policies for users who may belong to multiple groups within Active Directory (e.g., deny access to malware and hacking sites for all users, yet allow access to users that belong to the security group).
  • Allow access to streaming media category, but apply QoS to control bandwidth consumption.
  • Prevent file download/upload for URL categories that represent higher risk (e.g., allow access to unknown sites, but prevent upload/download of executable files from unknown sites to limit malware propagation).
  • Apply SSL decryption policies that allow encrypted access to finance and shopping categories but decrypts and inspects traffic to all other categories.

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