Cyber protection companies

Are you looking for a cyber security solution for your company or organization? In this article we analyze three different cyber protection companies that provide DNS filtering solutions. We provide some details about them and discuss in depth the similarities and differences in the characteristics of their products and the kind of service and assistance they offer.

1. Cyber security companies: an overview

Over the last couple of decades, cyber protection companies have proliferated. If you open your search browser now and type something like “cyber security solutions” into it, the search engine will return a wide range of results. So, which one should you choose? What are the features that you should focus on when making a decision?
In this article we limit our choice to three companies:
» FlashStart, a reality born in Italy founded in 2001 and that has become internationally renowned for its great service. More information on FlashStart is provided in the following section of this article.
» Cisco Umbrella, headquartered in the US, which acquired OpenDNS in 2015 and incorporated it into its structure.
» DNSfilter, a younger American company founded in 2015 and that has grown a lot after its acquisition of Webshrinker, a domain categorization company, in 2018.


>> FlashStart protects you from a wide range of cyberthreats and prevents access to malicious websites → Start your free trial now


2. FlashStart: the European DNS filtering solution that conquered the world

FlashStart was born in 2001 in Cesena, in North-Eastern Italy. The company was initially active in the field of traditional cyber security equipment and then was among the first to adapt to the quickly changing panorama of cybersecurity: from appliance-based security it evolved into a cloud-based security company.

→ For more information on the advantages of a web-based DNS filter compared to a traditional firewall appliance read our dedicated article.

However, FlashStart’s evolution was not limited only to its product, but involved also its geographical reach. Over the years, FlashStart activated a global Anycast network of datacenters that now stretches from Los Angeles to Sydney, passing through Buenos Aires, Stockholm, Johannesburg and Singapore, to name but a few. Moreover, the company now has customers in more than 100 countries around the world.


>> FlashStart has grown over the years thanks to its competence and trustworthiness →Request an offer now


2.1 Main features: a comparison

What do FlashStart, Cisco Umbrella and DNSfilter have in common?Well, they all provide an Internet filtering product based on the DNS protocol whose aim is to block access to malicious, dangerous and undesired contents online.

So, all three cyber protection companies share the following services and characteristics:
» A global anycast network with datacenters spread all around the world that grant availability of service;
» Malware protection, which is the basic service they were born to provide and that, over the years has become increasingly strategic and necessary;
» A content filter based on DNS: for more details about how DNS-based filtering solutions work, please check our dedicated article;
» Reporting and analysis because it is necessary to analyze the threats you’re faced with in order to improve the product you offer.


>> FlashStart is the webfilter that everyday blocks 80 million undesired websites → Start your free trial now


3. More in detail: additional features

Once the main shared characteristics of the product offered by these cyber protection companies are clear, then what are their differences? Why should you choose one over the other? Here is a list of five features that make FlashStart the best solution for your business or organization.

3.1 Geoblocking

Most of the DNS filters available have a set of standardized features and then allow some kind of tailoring. With FlashStart, tailoring can be taken to a whole new level. Indeed, the system allows you to create personalizations based on both timing and geography:

» Time blocking: with FlashStart you can properly “schedule” blocks. When is this useful for you? For example, if you are a big company and keeping track of how your employees spend their time online is difficult, then you may want to impose some blocks, say, on access to social networks during working hours in order to increase efficiency in the workplace.

» Geoblocking: this is a feature exclusively offered by FlashStart. It allows network administrators to set blocks prohibiting DNS resolution to sites hosted in servers located in countries with a reputation for ransomware, malware and other risks. By enabling this feature, the network administrator can forget about country-specific threats and feel safe about the security in the network s/he manages.


>> FlashStart is fully cloud-based and easy to activate  → Try it now!


3.2 Integration with Microsoft AD

Companies and Public Administrations and corporations often rely on Microsoft Active Directory (Microsoft AD) to help manage permissions and accesses within their organizations. Within Microsoft AD, network administrators create “objects”, that is, users, applications and devices, and can also group them. This then permits them to manage permissions and accesses more swiftly, setting them directly on the groups rather than individually on each user.

Cisco Umbrella and FlashStart are well-integrated with Microsoft AD. In this way, you can replicate the user group structure of your AD directly within the web-based DNS filter and apply restrictions to specific groups of licenses. This will:

» save time: you don’t need to apply customization on a user-by-user base;
» manage company developments more easily:
– Has your company hired new employees in different departments? Just assign them to the correct group in the Microsoft AD and their online activities will be automatically safe.
– Is your company going through a major structure overhaul? Update the Microsoft AD and let the web-based DNS filter know how to manage the new groups.


>> Are you an app producer? It is possible to integrate FlashStart as a native setting → Contact us


4. MSPs’ channel reselling protection

Most cyber protection companies sell directly to final users, and this is the case for both Cisco Umbrella and DNSfilter. FlashStart, on the other hand, relies on a network of trusted and specialized Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and protects the Canal 100%.

How is this an advantage? If you buy a good or service directly from the producer / supplier, it is up to you to evaluate it, evaluate possible alternatives and gather information about it. An MSP somehow acts as a mediator: when an MSP chooses a product it means it has analyzed it thoroughly and is convinced that offering it to its customers is a good idea.

The fact that FlashStart has been chosen by MSPs all around the world means it is a safe and reliable system, one that MSPs are willing to stand up for. Being chosen by an MSP means an additional security layer for FlashStart’s final customers.

4.1 Minimum number of user licenses

Most cyber protection companies offer different prices for their product depending on the amount of licenses requested. This is true also for the three companies analyzed in this article. So, how many licenses do you need to purchase in order to grant the Internet safety your company deserves and needs?

The table below shows the minimum number of user licenses that companies and educational institutions need to purchase in order to benefit from the web-based DNS filters offered by these three cyber protection companies:

TypeFlashStartCisco UmbrellaDNSfiltering.com
Companies & Organizations52020
Schools100Unknown125

As shown by the table, while Cisco Umbrella and DNSfilter seem to be suited mainly for bigger enterprises and institutions, FlashStart is the ideal solution for all sorts of companies and organizations, from Small and Medium Enterprises to larger organizations.


>> Are you the owner of an SME? Join the FlashStart family and ensure your company is safe from cyber security threats → Start your free trial  now or request an offer


5. Support and assistance

Finally, the ever-evolving online world means new issues emerge on a daily basis and this could result in problems such as sudden blocks, system failures, unexpected disconnections, etc. It is important to keep this in mind when you make your choice about which company you will entrust with the cyber security of your organization.

How do the three cyber protection companies analyzed in this article compare in terms of assistance and support? We looked for information about chat and email support by Cisco Umbrella but could not find any details about it so we do not know what sort of assistance they offer to their clients. DNSfilter, on the other hand, offers email support to all its clients while chat support is available only from the Pro version.

FlashStart offers both email and chat support to all of its customers and also telephone and remote connection support to be at the partner’s side at all times, independently of whether they choose the Basic or Pro option. Also, FlashStart connects constantly with its users and grants a 24/7 customer service in Italian, English and Spanish.


>> FlashStart is the ideal cyber protection solution to satisfy all your needs → Request an offer now


To sum it up, FlashStart has become, thanks to years of continued research and networking and thanks to a constant gathering of feedback from its clients, one of the best cyber protection companies, capable of granting a high level of service and assistance and that allows you to integrate its web-based DNS filter easily into your existing structure and customize it in order to satisfy all your needs.


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