About the M86 Web Filter
The M86 Web Filter is a network device which filters and monitors an organization’s web traffic. It is developed and manufactured by M86 Security.
The M86 Web Filter (WF) can be used as a single unit or with other M86 products such as the M86 Security Reporter.
Web Traffic Filtering
The M86 Web Filter allows network administrators to screen web activity based on a variety of criteria:
- File type (mp3, mpeg, mov, avi, zip, exe)
- Traffic type (peer-to-peer networking, instant messaging, BitTorrent)
- IP addresses
- Packet data
The M86 Web Filter detects and blocks a wide range of Internet-based threats such as phishing sites, viruses, spyware, and adware.
Reduction In Network Load and Bandwidth Usage
By filtering web sites and network activities that consume excessive bandwidth, network health can be improved.
Traffic Monitoring and Policy Enforcement
In addition to filtering traffic and blocking malicious software, the M86 Web Filter provides real time traffic monitoring, allowing admins to see what’s happening on the network at any time.
Web usage policies can be easily and automatically enforced by configuring the M86 to disable the workstation of users who attempt to access blocked sites too many times.
By limiting or denying access to time-wasting websites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, productivity can be greatly increased.
Safe Web Searching
The M86 WF can be configured to prevent users from turning off the “Safe Search” feature of major search engines like Google and Yahoo.
For education users, the filter can connect to M86′s VuSafe service to give school-age children safe access to authorized YouTube videos.
Setup and Administration
The initial setup process involves connecting a monitor and keyboard to the M86 to enter basic network details. Once the device and been configured and connected to the network, it can be managed from any location using a graphical web-based interface.
The M86 WF needs very little maintenance after the initial setup is complete.
The M86 Web Filter Database
The M86 filter uses an extensive database that includes millions of URLs across more than 100 categories, allowing for a fine level of control over content filtering.
The database is composed of sites selected from a range of human and computer-based sources. Updates occur automatically multiple times throughout the day, and filters for high-risk threats are implemented within hours.
M86 Database Libraries
The M86 database includes a number of specialized libraries that provide advanced web filtering options. These libraries are ready to use out of the box, but they can also be modified by admins.
Filter searches by keyword
Keyword filtering will block searches containing words like facebook, jessica beil, nude, flash games, etc.
Filter URLs by keyword
The M86 Web Filter can block access to URLs containing banned keywords. For example, a URL filter for the term “Family Guy” would filter the following URLs:
Enables administrators to block an entire site including sub-domains. For example, the wildcard *.ign.com will block ps3.ign.com, xbox.ign.com, and movies.ign.com.
This M86 Patterns Library allows web content to be filtered by type and function. This is in many ways more robust than filtering traffic by checking for matches on a list of banned keywords and URLs.
For example, sites like YouTube and Hulu may look and behave differently, but behind the scenes they have number of similarities. The M86 Filter can make use of these common traits to filter all sites with streaming meaning.
The Patterns Library can also filter instant messaging, online games, and web-based proxies.