Why has that website been blocked?
Has a website you visit regularly all of a sudden been blocked? There’s probably a good reason for that.
As criminals shift their attention to the Internet as a way to rob new victims, it is increasingly important to manage how employees use the Internet. Most of the time no one even realises that internet traffic is being filtered – until something changes.
Here at Kimbley IT we sometimes take calls from customers about specific websites that were accessible yesterday, but which are blocked today. And without fail they always want to know why things have changed.
There are two main reasons why websites may be blocked with no warning
1. The website is damaging productivity
Where an employer is concerned about productivity, they may ask for a specific website to be blocked. Sites that offer no business benefit, or which could affect other work-related activities may be blocked to ensure employees stay on track.
These sites are blocked at the request of your employer.
2. The website has been compromised
Sometimes you may find that a perfectly reasonable website has been blocked. But why?
The problem is that websites are not static – the content and underlying technologies is constantly evolving and changing. And this is particularly true of the advertisements shown on websites.
Hackers have discovered that ad networks are extremely effective for delivering malware. Because the ads are shown on popular, reputable websites, there is a much higher chance of people seeing them – and the underlying malware to install itself on their computers.
Anti-virus software should help to reduce the risk of infection – but there are no guarantees. It is far safer to prevent contact with malware delivery channels like compromised websites and ad networks in the first place. Prevention is always safer, faster, more effective and cheaper than trying to cure an infection.
If malware is being installed via ad networks, it makes sense to block access to websites hosting those ads. Which is why you may be suddenly unable to view “innocent” websites.
Sometimes websites get automatically blocked.
When a website you like to visit is blocked, you may assume the Kimbley IT is playing god, using our power to make your work life just a little less enjoyable. But the reality is that we may not have been involved in the decision at all.
Our content filters use automated algorithms to analyse websites for security risks. Every website is assigned a risk value; if that value reaches a certain threshold, access to the website is blocked automatically. Using machine learning techniques, the algorithm is constantly enhanced and improved to better identify – and block – malware.
When a website is blocked, take a second to think about why. Access is restricted to protect you and your employer – not to ruin your day.