The technology behind content filtering is fairly simple. If the device is set up to be a monitor, technicians...
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
can attach it to the network by using a network tap, span port or similar replication technology, ensuring that the network has a copy of all traffic. If it is designed to serve as a filter, it can be placed at a choke point in the network.
The important criteria to evaluate when deciding if a content filter meets your business requirements is how the filter decides which traffic is allowed and which is denied. Most of the current generation of content filters use whitelist/blacklist technology to build lists of acceptable and unacceptable content. Depending upon the organization's security requirements, either a default "allow" or "deny" rule is applied. This approach is often seen in Web content filtering, where users are blocked from accessing inappropriate Web sites. While maintaining these lists can be quite a chore, filter manufacturers often provide a subscription service that offers access to a centrally maintained site categorization scheme.
Some companies are experimenting with newer content-filtering technologies. Using document signatures, traffic profiles and other techniques, these approaches seek to identify leaks of confidential information and other inappropriate content. While they hold promise, they're probably only useful if you have extremely high security requirements or a desire to be on the cutting edge of security technology. Otherwise, I'd recommend waiting a couple of years until these technologies mature.
Dig Deeper on Monitoring Network Traffic and Network Forensics
Related Q&A from Mike Chapple
Cloud compliance issues are no reason for enterprises not to move to the cloud. Expert Mike Chapple explains why, as well as what to keep in mind ...continue reading
The GAO reported on SEC cybersecurity weaknesses, even though the SEC regulates cybersecurity. Expert Mike Chapple discusses the effects of this ...continue reading
Enterprise compliance can be a burden to manage, which is where a PCI ISA can be helpful. Expert Mike Chapple explains how a PCI Internal Security ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.