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What Is DNS Filtering & How Can Companies Use It?

DNS filtering sounds pretty high-tech like it might be a way to block harmful radiation from your spaceship. The reality is a little bit less extravagant. However, there’s no denying that DNS filtering is crucial for businesses.

But what is DNS filtering, and how can companies use it?

DNS stands for domain name system. Essentially, this is what you unknowingly use when you visit any website. Every site has a vernacular domain name, say Facebook.com for example. But each site also goes by a string of numbers that allows devices and servers to communicate with each other.

DNS filtering allows for organizations to control what sites can be accessed by their employees on the company network. While this might sound like a dystopian nightmare at first, it’s actually perfectly reasonable, and a best practice for enterprises. People don’t need to be accessing every site out there while at work. And the reality is that some sites can be dangerous for networks.

Below are some specific ways DNS filtering is beneficial to companies.

Keep Employees On-Task

Of course, people are going to take breaks and be off-track occasionally while at work. People wouldn’t be human if they didn’t do this from time to time. But there comes a point when distractions at work go too far and become a liability to the enterprise.

It’s estimated that U.S. businesses lose about $15 billion in productivity each week due to people being distracted while at work. This can start taking a real toll on an organization if it means that projects aren’t being completed due to lost productivity. While blocking websites isn’t going to stop all distractions (people can typically still use their phones, after all), it can help limit the convenience.

Block Sites That Harbor Malware

You don’t want your network to be infected by malware. The reality is that many websites are a hotbed for this kind of malicious software, which can cause severe damage to your company. Protecting digital assets needs to be a top priority for any business in today’s world.

Businesses can employ DNS filtering to ensure that employees aren’t going to sites like these on the organization’s network. Enterprises that hire managed network security services can do an optimal job of protecting their networks from malware.

Reduce Need for HR Interference

As already mentioned, there are plenty of people who use their time at work to look at irrelevant things online. It’s not a huge problem when employees go off-task for a little while. In fact, this can actually provide benefits to the organization, as this is how companies are able to build internal culture.

There comes a point, however, when things go too far. This might be due to one or several employees spending too much time distracted. But it can also be due to the content of the sites being visited by employees. In either case, when things go too far, HR might have to get involved. At this point, things have devolved to where everyone’s time is being wasted. It’s best to just use DNS filtering for sites that pose a problem.

Have IT Working on More Productive Tasks

How many people do you think go into the IT field because they want to fix things after some employee went to a bad site and had their device infected with malware? Few. And that’s because this is an extremely banal and annoying task, almost on par with the tech support person asking if you’ve tried turning the computer off and on again.

The IT department should be proactively engaged in things like improving network performance — or building better internal protocols — rather than cleaning up messes.

There are some pretty compelling reasons for why companies should use DNS filtering. No matter the size of the organization, there are clear benefits for implementing this tech.

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