Jamf Blog
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November 23, 2022 by Jesus Vigo

A holistic approach to security: Content Filtering and Safe Internet

Are your users safe on the internet? Whether working on important job-related tasks or taking part in a collaborative team learning effort – online access to critical resources is at the heart of productivity. Counting on websites or ISPs to “police”their own content or filter out the unwanted bad stuff isn’t the answer. Learn about how Jamf content filtering and network threat prevention solutions contribute to a safe internet for all stakeholders.

When thinking about the security of your endpoints, it’s easy to focus on the threats themselves and the solutions that directly identify, prevent and mitigate them, like endpoint security solutions and Zero Trust paradigms.

You’d be forgiven for overlooking the delivery mechanism for a large majority of threats and attacks – the internet. More specifically, how always-on access and the reliance on it to power our professional, as well as personal tasks, is both a blessing and sometimes, a curse.

Let me explain.

The former’s obvious. Unlimited access to data at your fingertips, at any time and from anywhere. Great, right?! The latter however isn’t so hot for us because that door effectively swings both ways and allows bad actors unlimited access to your data at any time from anywhere. Hence the criticality that a comprehensive endpoint security solution is made up of multiple layers of protective solutions as part of a defense-in-depth strategy offers holistic protection for your devices, users and sensitive data.

An integral part of this strategy is content filtering and combining it with:

  • Powerful controls to thwart in-network threats
  • Prevention of zero-day phishing attacks
  • Minimizing risk and liability from inappropriate content
  • Upholding end-user privacy
  • Alignment with and enforcement of compliance with organizational policies

Why content filtering is necessary

Content filtering sometimes gets a bad rap from those that view this service as “spying” on your users. Unfortunately, this was sometimes the case in the early days of the technology being introduced. While the intent always rests on the organization deploying content filtering, luckily, the technology has evolved well beyond this into a concise, efficient solution that is deployed to mitigate threats and minimize risks introduced across the modern threat landscape.

We’ll go into greater detail about how it safeguards endpoints against bad actors and network-based attacks just a bit later. For now, suffice it to say that content filtering is just one feature of securing internet access, with network threat prevention and mobile threat defense serving as equally important solutions to endpoint security.

Navigating the information highway safely

Imagine if you will, safe, private connections everywhere students learn and employees work. No, it’s not a pipedream but rather the security challenge that solutions like Jamf Safe Internet and Jamf Data Policy resolve for a variety of industries, like education (former) and commercial organizations (latter).

Not only does privacy-focused content filtering control what content is accessed on managed devices, but the cloud-based controls extend protection across many device types and support modern operating systems, like macOS, iOS-based, Android and Windows.

Furthermore, Jamf’s content filtering and network threat protection engine deliver powerful security that is seamless to the user and simple to deploy for IT and Security admins with pre-defined safety, blocking and bandwidth restriction rule sets.

Looking for a bit of hands-on capability? Jamf solutions offer unprecedented levels of flexibility, allowing you to customize existing rules or create the level of content control that fits each class, based on your risk appetite.

All while empowering IT and Security teams with visibility into understanding the effects of your work through granular reporting that serves to inform, adjust and tune proactive measures iteratively.

No download for you

Whether it’s intentional or simply just bad luck – it’s inevitable that end users will come across inappropriate content at one time or another. Limiting access to inappropriate content:

  • Minimizes risk from malware, risky apps and suspicious files
  • Reduces liabilities stemming from accessing inappropriate content
  • Mitigates zero-day phishing attacks and prevents access to malicious URLs
  • Allows users to focus on productivity while keeping them safe online

Private eyes…are (not) watching you

Jamf’s solutions watch for malicious traffic and prevent accessing URLs that are questionable at best or outright linked to bad actors at worst. We uphold user privacy and sensitive data being submitted via company-owned devices by never inspecting your personal data.

Not only that, but our filters extend beyond domains, such as helping to hide explicit content from Google Search results and hiding mature content on YouTube, including embedded videos and viewing comments, as well.

The enforcer

In a perfect world, you would simply request end-users abide by the organization’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). Unfortunately, the modern threat landscape is such that risk associated with accessing online resources is ever present whether users are following AUPs or not. As such, policy-based enforcement aligns content filtering and network threat prevention practices to organizational policies and/or regulatory compliance requirements, ensuring that risky behaviors, actions, downloads and web-based content are disallowed on company-owned devices.

In addition, policies can be configured to:

  • Customize context-aware management for different device types and supported OS’
  • Eliminate shadow IT to prevent the use of unauthorized tools and minimize data leakage
  • Aid organizations in complying with the regulatory requirements of their industry

Full house

Keep track of it all and never miss a beat with device usage statistics and seamless integration with your existing first- and third-party tools. Seamless integration with solutions like Jamf Pro and Jamf School for enterprise and educationally focused mobile device management respectively, facilitate simple, yet intuitive synching between solutions.

Unlock deep visibility into network-based threats impacting your endpoints while using the insight to develop granular workflows specifically tailored to meet the needs of your users. Merging internet safety solutions with a platform you already trust – right out of the box!

Key Takeaways:

  • “Prevention over inspection” approach upholds user privacy without compromising safety on the internet
  • Give students and users the freedom to learn and work anytime, anywhere
  • Intelligent rule sets ensure that only acceptable websites are accessible
  • Reduce legal exposure from access to inappropriate content
  • Maximize user productivity stemming from non-compliant use of online resources
  • Limit the risk of data leakage or exposure from shadow IT and unauthorized app/service usage
  • Context-aware management adapts policies to different groups of users and devices, extending protections across your entire fleet
  • Customize content filtering and network threat protections to meet the unique needs of your organization – including devices, users and data security requirements
  • Support for any modern device and ownership level – iOS, iPadOS, Android and Windows
  • Minimal resource utilization + same-day support = low impact on the user experience

Choosing between user safety on the internet or keeping confidential data protected isn’t much of a choice.

Get both! (and a whole lot more) when choosing Jamf, the comprehensive endpoint security solution that provides defense-in-depth protection for your entire fleet.

Photo of Jesus Vigo
Jesus Vigo
Jamf
Jesus is a Copywriter, Security focused on expanding the knowledge base of IT, Security Admins - generally anyone with an interest in securing their Apple devices - with Apple Enterprise Management and the Jamf solutions that will aid them in hardening the devices in the Apple ecosystem.
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