Why Your Web Traffic Needs to Have an Anti-Virus Filter

June 23rd, 2010

Viruses have been around almost from the beginning of corporate networks. That's why most companies have antivirus programs installed to protect their networks and workstations. Because email is a common vehicle for viruses, companies also deploy email filters to protect that avenue of attack. These are important tactics in an overall corporate defense strategy for protecting networks and systems. However, as attacks become more sophisticated, corporate Internet portals cannot be overlooked. Infected websites are becoming more common. Google recently scoured world URLs and found over a million websites engaged in malicious downloads. Although current Anti-virus (AV) and email filters are important, they may not be enough to protect corporate networks from harm. Adding another layer of AV protection via a comprehensive Web filter that includes antivirus is more important than ever:

  • Websites can become infected without the owner ever knowing because so many applications can be used to operate just one Web portal. Updating these applications is sometimes overlooked and this omission offers hackers free reign to insert damaging code.
  • While traditional corporate AV can stop viruses, it can miss malware, which can be just as damaging. Adding another layer of protection that recognizes and blocks malware agents is an important part of a comprehensive security approach.
  • Websites that sell space to third-party advertisers may be unknowingly hosting damaging widgets. This ambiguity of ownership can lead to security holes that hackers can exploit easily.
  • Social networking sites that let users post almost any material they want offer fertile ground to hackers seeking to embed damaging HTML. Merely visiting such pages can allow viruses or malware in and traditional AV defense won't block it.

These attacks that result from simply visiting an infected site are called "drive-by downloads". The only way to achieve total protection from these and other hazardous threats is to deploy a web filter that blocks viruses and malware before they can get near your networks.

Multi layered Protection is Your Best Bet One way to strengthen network security is to deploy a web filter, such as a web filtering appliance that adds another layer of protection with onboard antivirus and anti-malware protection. These offer real-time virus and malware blocking as part of an overall four-factored defense.

A Firewall, web filter, desktop anti-virus, server anti-virus, all need to do parts of this protection. Antivirus is complicated problem that sometimes takes a complex solution. If you need help wading through the options give us a call.

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