The internet is a powerful tool for communication, entertainment, and education. However, it can also be used by criminals to access other people’s information and even steal from them. Businesses suffered 50% more cyber attack attempts per week in 2021, reaching a new all-time high. To safeguard against this threat, companies need to use some form of security protection. While a firewall may be the first solution that comes to mind, it does not provide the granularity or control of a content filter. Many companies are now using a combination of firewall and content filtering to maximize their cybersecurity efforts against the growing threat of the internet.  

Firewalls VS Web Content Filtering 

A firewall is used to prevent unauthorized access to a network and control the type of information that is allowed to pass through. Content filtering is the process of blocking inappropriate content, malicious websites, and spam. It can also be used to block phishing attempts, viruses, and malware. With content filtering you can manually set policies for each individual user or group of users in your organization.  

The main difference between content filters and firewalls is that a firewall only operates at the network level via allow or block lists, whereas the Netsweeper content filter works dynamically at the URL and application levels to block sites and portions of certain websites. Both are designed to protect networks and users, but they do so in different ways. Firewalls allow traffic through an open port unless it is not allowed, whereas content filters only allow traffic through if it is explicitly defined as acceptable. 

A Firewall is Not a Replacement for a Web Filter 

Content filtering is more effective than a firewall, providing greater flexibility in terms of detecting and removing harmful content, such as spam or phishing attacks. These types of threats are often disguised as legitimate emails or webpages, evading standard firewalls. Content filters offer deeper inspection capabilities to detect these types of attacks on incoming traffic before they reach endpoints like PCs or mobile device.  

Benefits of Using Netsweeper’s Web Content Filter Include: 

  • Detect and block malicious content such as phishing, malware, and spyware 
  • Reduce security threats and compliance risks associated with viruses, spam messages, inappropriate websites, and undesirable traffic 
  • Reduce bandwidth consumption and lower costs 
  • Reduce time required to deploy and manage the solution 
  • Better control and insight into network usage  
  • Real-time dynamic filtering versus static lists 

Netsweeper Content Filtering Solution 

Content filtering is the first line of defense against web-based attacks. The Netsweeper platform provides web security tools necessary to safeguard users from harmful online content. Firewalls tend to be general-purpose solutions, focusing on providing protection against external attacks, like hackers or viruses. The Netsweeper content filtering solution offers the most cost-effective and scalable solution to stop attackers from penetrating your network right at the gateway, preventing cyber-attacks or the loss of your sensitive data. 

Find Out More 

Content filtering and firewalls are both important tools for your network security. While a firewall can protect against malware and other threats, it does not offer much protection against malicious web pages. Netsweeper’s content filtering solution is the most effective when it comes to blocking harmful websites working inside the browser to prevent users from accessing inappropriate or dangerous sites. 

To find out more about the Netsweeper solution and how we can protect you from online vulnerabilities request a demo with one of our specialists today!