Website categories British employers block

Jul 09 | 2024

Cybersecurity experts say that blocking certain websites lowers the risk of cyberattacks and removes distractions. This article looks at the types of sites British companies prevent their employees from visiting. Do you do the same?

British employers block website categoriesAccording to data collected by the cybersecurity company NordLayer, a significant portion of employers (72%) block malicious and adult websites. Malicious websites can pose severe security threats by spreading malware, while adult websites are often restricted due to concerns over inappropriate content and potential productivity loss. Gambling sites are blocked by 43% of employers, likely due to concerns over addiction and productivity loss.

Research shows that the Domain Name System (DNS) filtering feature is also used for blocking phishing, cryptojacking, illegal, and DDoS as a Service (DaaS) websites. This way, employers try to protect their networks and systems from cyber threats and illegal activities.

“In today's threat landscape, where cyberattacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, DNS filtering plays a pivotal role in safeguarding sensitive data, maintaining regulatory compliance, and preserving the integrity of organisational networks," said Carlos Salas, a cybersecurity expert at NordLayer.

Employers seek to maintain a professional work environment
Besides just blocking adult websites, many managers take a step further to maintain a professional work environment. For example, 30% block dating sites, 28% do not allow access to sex education websites, and about 12% of employers even block lingerie sites.

Information or sales related to drugs websites are blocked by 37% of IT managers. Interestingly, 21% of employers block VPN websites, likely to prevent employees from circumventing network restrictions and accessing blocked content, which could pose security risks or productivity concerns.

“To lower distractions from work and promote productivity, 19% of IT managers restrict access to gaming websites because they can be time-consuming and embedded with ads and hyperlinks to other malicious websites,” added Carlos. “Additionally, celebrity news websites and social media are blocked by 8% and 7% of employers, respectively.”

What is DNS filtering and why is it important?
As mentioned, DNS filtering works by intercepting website requests and subjecting them to additional security checks. If a requested site is found on a blocklist or identified as malicious, the DNS resolver blocks the request, preventing access and mitigating potential cybersecurity risks. Managers can choose what types of content shouldn’t be accessible by employees on company-managed networks and the DNS filters will do the rest.

“DNS filtering is a critical component of any organization's cybersecurity strategy,” said Carlos. “By blocking access to malicious and inappropriate websites, employers can significantly reduce the risk of malware infections and security breaches on their networks.”