Pearl Software Blog

Internet Monitoring and Web Filtering Topics

Pearl Software Enforces Google, Bing and Yahoo Safe Search

Pearl Echo expands web filter technology to lock-in adult content filters provided by popular web search sites.

Pearl Software, the inventors of real-time, mobile Internet monitoring and web filtering has released Safe Search enforcement as a component of its web filtering capabilities. Google, Bing and Yahoo Search provide optional search settings to filter out inappropriate and adult-oriented content from their search results. Pearl Software’s latest Echo cybersecurity products ensure Safe Search is enabled and not circumvented by the end user.

“Using their web browsers, end users have the ability to easily disable their search engine’s Safe Search setting,” said Pearl Software CTO, Joe Field. “Because Pearl Echo does its work on the user’s device down at the network layer, Pearl Echo can be configured to override the user's settings, ensuring that Safe Search remains on.” Safe Search uses the search provider’s proprietary technology to filter a fair amount of inappropriate material and adult content. For this reason, Safe Search enforcement is just one aspect of Pearl Echo’s blended approach to web filtering. More...

Web Filtering: Choke-Point vs. Endpoint

There are generally two main enterprise architectures used to monitor and/or filter access to content available on the Internet: Choke-Point (web proxy, router, firewall, etc.) and Endpoint (client-server). Each has its advantages and disadvantages that we will explore.

Choke-Point Architecture

The Choke-Point architecture provides a central point of access to the Internet for all users.  The Choke-Point is normally a server, firewall or router with embedded filtering software or one or more “Internet appliances” – stand-alone devices for targeted applications.  Websense is an example of a caching Web proxy server that provides a nearby store of Web pages and files originating on remote Web servers, allowing local network clients to access them more efficiently.  When it receives a request for a Web page, a caching proxy looks for the content in its local cache. If the content does not exist in the proxy’s cache, the proxy server retrieves it from the appropriate Internet server in order to satisfy the request and saves a copy in its local cache for future requests. Sonicwall and Watchguard are examples of firewalls with embedded filtering software; usually third party URL filtering databases.  Since requests to access Internet sites are sent from each workstation in the managed environment, a decision about whether the site may be accessed can be made centrally at the Choke-Point. If a user requests a site that is determined to be off limits, the server or device returns a response to the user indicating that access is denied. More...