Web security: making Internet a safe place

Web Security is a part of Internet Security that is more and more necessary to grant the secure web navigation

Web Security is a part of Internet Security that is more and more necessary to grant the web navigation within Companies, Organizations and schools of every type and level, in order to be safe from threats and undesired contents while working.
An effective cyber security solution requires a set of technologies, procedures and means dedicated to the protection of IT systems.

1. What is Web Security?

The web is an unlimited source of all types of information and resources, that can be used by whomever in a simple and intuitive way. It is therefore extremely important to be aware and informed about what dangers can be present in the Internet world.

It is estimated that over the coming 2-3 years, almost 100% of all the workload will move to the Cloud, hence web security takes on an even more fundamental role in companies, organizations and schools of all types and levels.

Web Security deals with the provision of tools, procedures and several useful rules in order to protect yourself and your structure from cyber attacks, loss of data and from access to dangerous or undesired websites.
Very often people tend to overlook the concept of Internet security, thinking that they are immune or that they are not potential subjects of ransomware or data breaches, but this is not the case since attacks are often carried out even just in order to damage the reputation or slow down the operations of a company, organization or institution.

The risk is there every day, since even a small interruption or violation of the web security can result in a countless waste of time and data, delays, disruptions with clients and hence a damage in terms of profit and company credibility.

Over the last years more and more Organizations have been obliged to close down following huge losses of data and/or the payment of enormous ransomware in order not to make public confidential data and information, or because of blackmailing by hackers that has resulted in the paralysis of a company’s activities.

Let’s then see what are the main interventions to consider when speaking about Web Security.


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1.1 Training on web security

Security starts first of all from training the several network users, so as to provide a range of rules and standards to follow in order to keep your network protected and grant a protected web navigation.

It is necessary to inform on a constant basis the individuals within your organization about the web security procedures to follow so as to avoid compromising their work and the work of other online users. Moreover, it is important that each user keeps his credentials confidential and not accessible/visible to others.

Most of the cyber attacks happen because of human errors, often due to the little training and attention during normal work activities: for example, opening attachments like Excel or Word files received by email and that can result in huge dangers not only for their data but for the entire company network.

Verifying the source (sender) before downloading/opening attachments or links that are part of the text of the message is an essential step and this is why there exist Cryptolockers that have the aim of encrypting all the data present in their machine, blocking the opening and making them unusable.
These attacks are often not limited to the single machine but rather they spread very rapidly across the whole network and shared paths, thus encrypting also the data of other users in the net.

We hence reach another fundamental tool to avoid the loss of data and information, that is the backup.
Maintaining a backup system which allows you to memorize your data on external (or Cloud) devices, is today a very important element in order to avoid enormous damages that, in several cases, have also resulted in the shut down of the company itself.

Another rule to keep in mind when talking about security (in this case we are referring to the security of the company network rather than the web), is that of preventing users from using USB devices of external memory devices (such as external hard disks or CDs/DVDs), since viruses and malware can be easily transferred from one device to another simply by connecting one’s own machine.
It is appropriate to use a password that respects the minimum complexity and set up rules for changing the password at least every 6 months.

1.2 An Antivirus Software is important (as well)

Another very important aspect is the use of an Antivirus software that shall be installed on any device within the net.
The tool that is able to grant protection and security to your device (and to the network itself) is exactly the Antivirus software.

An Antivirus can block a potential threat as, for example, a malware or trojan.
You should however remember that often it is not enough to type on the web “best free antivirus” and install it on your company network in order to enjoy a good security level.
It is in fact necessary to maintain the product always updated both in terms of virus database and in terms of security patches. Moreover, periodical scannings should be carried out in order to eliminate files and folders that are potentially dangerous.


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2. Web content filter

As far as “web security” is concerned, a very important factor that needs to be considered regards the application of a content filter capable of blocking access to websites and resources that could potentially be dangerous or undesired.
When we open a website (for example google.com), our Browser first of all translates the URL into a public IP address, unique in the net, in order to forward the traffic towards the searched resource.

This process of assigning names to the nodes of the host takes place thanks to a complex process, named DNS (Domain Name System). DNS resolution indicates the procedure to convert names into IP addresses and so the term DNS refers also to the protocol itself that makes this operation possible.
The more professional filters that work at the DNS level analyze the Client’s request and, considering some pre-set rules, block or allow access to the desired website (or resource).

For example, FlashStart is a global player that offers a robust service of DNS filtering, simple and intuitive, that allows clients to secure their network quickly and with no need to purchase or install additional hardware.

Moreover, since smart working is more and more common in our lives, FlashStart provides you also with the very important option to protect personal devices through the installation of an app.
In this way, web security will be granted also to the users who are connected remotely, avoiding access to undesired or potentially dangerous websites. This is very important because many hacker attacks have recently hit companies accessing their networks through remote workers.

On top of granting web security, filters also have the aim of limiting users’ access to websites and applications that could compromise productivity, hence avoiding wasting time during working hours.
Speaking again about FlashStart, its Dashboard allows you to block, on top of infected websites and explicit contents, also the opening of entertainment websites, Social Networks, online gaming platforms and other services that could result in a slow down of the business activity.

The platform can be configured with over 85 international Blacklists that are continuously updated thanks to artificial intelligence, it allows granular filtering for users and groups, integration with third-party systems (API) and scheduling.
Moreover, FlashStart offers a Cloud-based filter that is compatible with all the Routers, WiFis, Hotspots, Firewalls and Gateways available in the market.

On top of the ones listed above, these additional features can be very useful:
» Protection of Google/Bing searches through Safesearch, with integrated picture filter;
» YouTube protection, with a block to the streaming of videos not suitable for minors;
» Configuration of your own block page, with personalized logo and text;
» Geoblocking: block of websites and resources depending on the geographical location;
» Application of filtering rules depending on the single device (or user / Active Directory group);
» Protection of mobile devices through the installation of an app;
» Automatic sending of extremely detailed reports via email;
» Real-time traffic analysis (for debug) as well as analysis of the traffic of specific days.


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3. Web security through the perimetral network

One of the most important elements in web security is represented by the network Firewall.
The simplest Firewall must allow for the block of outgoing doors/services and especially of incoming ones, allowing the user to view his own network traffic (for example for the aim of debugging) and introducing systems for physical separation (or virtual separation through the VLAN) of internal networks.

Today there are Firewall that can carry out also complex activities like:
» IPS (Intrusion Prevention System): it permits the analysis of Internet traffic with the aim of signaling and/or blocking damaging activities.
» Layer 7 Filters: they make it possible to block undesired applications or those that can result in huge slowdowns in the net (for example Torrents and peer to peer).
» Prevention and block of unauthorized accesses to the system (for example attempts to access the Firewall in SSH or from a web portal).
» Anti Spam filters: mail analysis with the possibility to block undesired mail
» VPN and remote work: creation and management of VPNs to connect two or more remote workstations or to connect remotely for work.

Firewall producers and installers intervene in web security especially at the perimetral level, but this is not complete, neither in terms of protection, nor in terms of updates.

Among the various functions present on Hybrid Firewall, you can create different navigation profiles, hence associating different rules (filters) based on the user / group (if there is a Domain Server that acts as Active Directory) or the private IP of who processed the request.
Compared to the Cloud solution, in order to use Hybrid Firewall it is necessary to purchase specific hardware (or to use an owned device that respects the product features).


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4. Choosing the right Web Security

FlashStart, a European company present globally, offers a web filter solution that is widely appreciated in order to grant universal Internet security.
FlashStart works with an Anycast Network of datacenters in different geographical areas and has clients in over 145 countries.

Like almost all solutions, the FlashStart filter acts on the DNS protocol, identifies and blocks malware, grants a continuously updated database and complete reporting.
Important distinctive features of FlashStart are geoblocking, hence the block of access to websites in specific geographical areas, and scheduling, hence the option to set blocks at specific times. This allows you, for example, to set the filter so that access to social networks is possible only outside working hours.

Finally, the integration with the Microsoft Active Directory should be highlighted, which is not available from all the vendors of similar products, and support 24/7 granted in Italian, English and Spanish.
Also, FlashStart permits the extension of the protection to remote end-points, like laptops, tablets and smartphones
Moreover, FlashStart works only with re-sellers and offers the most performing partners margins that can reach over 60% of the final selling price, hence more than double what they would earn with some competitors.


You can activate the FlashStart® Cloud protection on any sort of Router and Firewall to secure desktop and mobile devices and IoT devices on local networks.

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