Web Filtering & User ActivityLogging with OpenDNS - CWPS

Posted by Myra Koshan on September 24, 2015
Myra Koshan

Through Cisco’s OpenDNS Umbrella web filtering feature a company can maintain its control over its Internet activity. Every year thousands of businesses encounter malicious software, data breaches or even legal issues due to the actions of their employees through their Internet service. Even with acceptable use and compliance policies in place, a company often finds it difficult to manage its employee's access. Umbrella offers a comprehensive web filtering solution in addition to its other threat protection services.

The Benefits of OpenDNS’ Umbrella Web Filtering

Umbrella includes a variety of features designed at making it simpler and easier to configure and control the end user's Internet experience. This includes white lists, blacklists, compliance and white list only options for configuration. Depending on a company's needs, a company's control over their Internet access can range from very strict to fairly loose.

Filtering Web Activity through Umbrella

Umbrella offers three primary methods of web filtering:

  • Category-based filtering. Umbrella includes a comprehensive list of web domains categorized by their primary focus, such as entertainment, news or shopping. With category-based filtering, a company can expressly block and allow entire selections of websites rather than having to rely upon blocking or permitting them one by one. In particular, category-based filtering is an excellent way to either block employees off from "time-wasting" websites or material that is simply not suitable for work. Category-based filtering can also be used to ensure that a company adhere to either internal or external regulatory compliance.
  • White lists and black lists. White listing and black listing are both more traditional methods of filtering web activity. A white list generally lists any websites that the employees should always be able to access, whereas a black list includes any websites that a company should never be able to access. With category-based web filtering, a white list might be utilized to exclude a certain website from those categories. On the other hand, a more lenient web filtering solution may only black list certain specific sites and allow users to browse freely otherwise.
  • White list only access. White list only access is generally only used when security is a very significant concern. With white list only access employees can only access the listed sites, which are often a company's own network.


Additionally, Umbrella allows for bypass privileges to be extended to certain users, so that the above rules are not applicable to them.

Umbrella doesn't only offer web filtering services. Umbrella is an automated protection system that also helps guard a company against attacks. Other features include threat protection, malware and botnet blocking, security monitoring and off-network device security.

Image source: GotCredit

Topics: openDNS