I don't need to filter web traffic, I trust my employees

By Jessica Pozerski

I occasionally hear this argument against the use of web content filtering and it is great to hear- but things aren't that simple. Part of the reason managers and employers can trust their employees is that they have built a good working environment, where employees work together and get their jobs done with minimal supervision.

As good as this scenario sounds there are other trust relationships which must be considered:

  • Your employees trust you to provide a safe work environment, free from hostile or objectionable materials. This can be difficult when even the most innocent Internet searches can return obscene or otherwise offensive content.
  • Your customers, business partners, and employees trust you to protect their confidential data. The proliferation of web-hosted malicious software has turned web browsing into a dangerous activity, putting your systems at risk of infection or compromise, which in turn puts the information stored on and accessed by those systems at risk.
  • An ever-increasing number of laws and regulations require you to protect your employees, to protect sensitive data, and to report any data breaches. This magnifies the importance of protecting your employees and your data.

Web content filtering does not need to be overly restrictive to be effective. And there is no need to threaten the trust an organization has fostered with their employees in order to protect your organization, your employees and your clients from malicious content. A strong web content filtering solution will allow you to filter content based on your organizations acceptable use policy so that you can continue allowing your employees free access to the Internet with the exception of inappropriate and dangerous sites.