Maximizing Security: Incorporating URL Filtering Vs. Proxy Servers

Maximizing Security: Incorporating URL Filtering Vs. Proxy Servers 

In order to safe your network from unwanted or harmful traffic, you may use both proxy servers and URL filtering. Their characteristics and purposes are distinct, though.

We are going to talk about URL filtering and Proxy in detail which the comparison one by one. Lets start with the URL filtering first.

URL Filtering Vs. Proxy Servers
Fig 1.1- URL Filtering Vs. Proxy Servers

⚡ What is URL Filtering ? 🚀🚀

URL filtering is a procedure that allows businesses to limit the websites and material that their employees may view. Users are barred from browsing specified websites and from utilizing company resources, such as devices or network bandwidth, in ways that might harm the organization.

The URL filtering mechanism compares the URL a user attempts to access to a database or list of sites that have been restricted or allowed for usage. This often restricts employees from viewing websites that might interfere with the organization's normal operations, including as sites with unlawful or improper material, sites unrelated to work, and sites that could be high-risk, harmful, or linked to phishing campaigns.

URL filtering works by comparing all online traffic against URL filters, which are often stored in a database of sites that users are authorized or refused access to. Each site in the database is assigned a URL filter, which might be a category or group.

  • Policies: IT teams can develop policies that log site visitors who visit specific websites at specific times. A payroll website, for example, may be restricted to those persons who require access to it in the days running up to payday. 
  • Approved sites: Websites related to the organization and required by its workflow, such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps, are often included in a list of approved sites.
  • Blocked websites: These are most likely social media pages, commerce websites, irrelevant news publications, or malware-hosting sites.
  • URL filters: This indicates that the organization does not regulate access to specific websites but instead establishes categories for many sites. They may, for example, develop a category for sites that are harmless but may divert visitors, sites that are suspect, and sites that are known to include malware or phishing websites.

⚡ What is Proxy ? 📜

A proxy server functions as a bridge between client devices and the internet. It is used for a variety of objectives, including boosting performance, increasing security, and giving anonymity. Proxies function at the application layer (Layer 7) of the OSI model. They intercept and redirect client requests to servers and vice versa. Proxies can inspect, change, or cache material throughout this process.

Between users and the internet, a proxy server acts as a gateway. Because it stands between end users and every webpage they view, it is often referred to as an intermediate server. Online activity seems to be originating from a different location when using a proxy server, which has its own Internet Protocol (IP) address. Protecting your devices against cyber risks, it is configured similarly to firewalls or web filters. 

⚡ Url Filtering Vs. Proxy .. maximize your security

A method called URL filtering uses the websites' URLs to determine whether to provide or deny access to them. Administrators who design unique rules or policies, or vendors that keep a database of categorized websites, can filter URLs. URL filtering can assist in preventing people from visiting websites that are detrimental, unrelated to their job, or high bandwidth users. 

URL filtering is limited to screening HTTP or HTTPS traffic and operates at the OSI model's application layer.

Proxy servers function as gatekeepers between users and the internet. Proxy servers can route, alter, or cache client-server requests and answers. 

By masking IP addresses, encrypting data, and filtering hazardous information, proxy servers can help users gain anonymity, privacy, and security. Users can also utilize proxy servers to access geo-restricted material or circumvent network constraints. Proxy servers operate at the OSI model's application layer, where they may filter any application protocol.

Url Filtering Vs. Proxy
Fig 1.2- URL Filtering Vs. Proxy