Proxy managers for your company: pros and cons

As a rule, entrepreneurs only think about safety and efficiency when they have already suffered financial (and not only) losses. Perhaps someone previously lacked the knowledge or time to think deeply about the structure and hierarchy of the corporate network.

At the same time, in a world where nearly all operations are done over the network, no detail can be left alone. If your system administrator hasn’t already explained to you why a proxy manager would make sense in your company, you can learn more about it here.

A little digression on the subject

In general, a proxy manager is software for managing computer network proxy servers. It is used by administrators to write and implement their policies and to filter requests for resources.

Simply put, proxy servers act as gatekeepers for your company’s computer terminals and the Internet, not only providing security but also improving performance. To better manage network traffic, proxy servers can be configured with various policies to restrict access to specific websites or content.

The advantages of this approach are obvious:

  1. Protection of employees‘ online activities from attempts at espionage
  2. Ensuring the balance of Internet traffic to avoid disruption
  3. Significant increase in security level
  4. Controlling employee access to websites
  5. Bandwidth savings by caching files or compressing incoming traffic

Proxy servers act as a firewall and web filter. They offer shared network connections and cache data to speed up frequent queries. A quality proxy server protects your users and your internal network from anything that could harm your system on the internet. At the same time, proxy servers can provide a high level of privacy.

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Tip: To get the most out of this technology, manage all your proxies in one place. This allows you to further reduce traffic and track all requests sent through the proxy with detailed request logs.

Better administrative control

One of the most valuable business uses of a proxy server is to control access to resources. This includes adding filters to block specific websites.

You cannot physically control your employees or prevent them from visiting unwanted websites that contain pornographic or other material that could compromise the security of your network. In addition, it is much more valuable for you as an entrepreneur that the attention of your employees is concentrated on technical and not on other tasks.

The proxy server is indispensable because the administrator only needs the right configuration. This saves you time and money and eliminates the possibility of errors. Proxy servers can also provide administrators with the ability to log users‘ network and Internet activity.

Proxy servers increase network security

By blocking specific resources and websites, you can reduce your business‘ exposure to viruses or other malware. This also works for incoming emails: the filters applicable here limit users‘ ability to open suspicious attachments, reducing the risk of infection via email.

Corporate espionage can also be detected and thwarted as suspicious user activity can be tracked, logged and ultimately blocked.

Caching is another useful feature of proxy servers

When accessing a resource, e.g. an informational/technical/legal website, is accessed several times, the server caches the information. When a new request for the same resource arrives, the cached content can be redirected instead of the user actually connecting to the resource’s home page.

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This results in faster access to these materials by periodically retrieving outdated cache files instead of the current accurate representations of the resource. This saves traffic, which in turn relieves the load on the entire system.

Of course, this is not entirely without disadvantages

Despite all their advantages, proxy servers are not perfect. Advanced users can use their own proxy servers to bypass server restrictions and gain access to restricted content. In addition, they can safely go about their business without giving the opportunity to track their actions.

The second important thing to keep in mind is that the restrictions imposed by proxies can make any unexpected or unusual resources inaccessible. This is especially the case when a whitelist of „allowed“ resources is used instead of a blacklist of „forbidden“ resources.

Among other things, proxy server monitoring and restrictions can negatively impact employee morale if they experience high levels of distrust and encounter restrictions in accessing resources.

But all of this can be solved firstly by the right configurations and secondly by building trusting relationships with employees. If the system administrator helps you with the first question, then with the second it all depends on you. And you, in turn, can correctly explain to your employees what risks the Internet poses for the company and why security is their top priority.

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