Using Proxy Servers for Enhanced Internet Security. With the usage of the internet being an every day activity for almost everyone, it brings cyber security threats such as hacking attacks, phishing and identity thefts. Because of it, various companies implement various technologies. Today we talk about one of them being a proxy server. They are applied to increase the security of networks and users.
In this article, we are discussing how we increase security by blocking malicious traffic, enforcing content filtering policies and protecting against DDoS attacks. What’s more, we are addressing the best practices for configuring and managing proxies for optimal security.
With this article it will be easier for you to understand why proxy servers are being increasingly utilised as a tool to increase security in business and institutional networks.
Let’s start with Using Proxy Servers for Enhanced Internet Security.
What are Proxy Servers?
In simple terms, Proxy Servers, are the gateways that work between the network user and the internet. Their main advantage is that they mediate between search queries or attempts to communicate with the internet. Another interesting fact is their ability to secure the user’s device, so that there is a lock against a malicious system that may intrude into the user’s private network.
Thus, proxy server is vital and valuable security tool designed to protect the systems of resources and people using it. In addition, proxies defend the user’s virtual network by being able to scan for viruses and malware in literally every request from the computer. When detection occurs, the server immediately blocks the connection request and gives information to the user. This blocking contributes to the prevention of the loss of valuable data or data failures.
Why should you use a Proxy Server?
Both, large or small businesses use proxy servers for several important reasons. Firstly, to protect the privacy of employee data and the security and anonymity of the network. Secondly, to control internet usage and stop connection interruptions. Furthermore is to save bandwidth and improve speed.
You need to know that using a proxy alone is only a part of the plan of being secure on the network. If you want to prevent data breaches related to this problem there is more we need to do. But, next we are going to dwell into benefits of proxy servers.
Benefits of Proxy Servers
They have a fairly simple mechanism, but provide great advantages to IT and other companies. Here are some key benefits and examples of using a proxy server:
Role of Proxy Servers in enhancing Internet Security
How does proxy server improves the security of your internet? Find out below:
Businesses use transparent proxies to block websites that contain malware. Such proxies allow users to connect to other secure sites. In this respect, users may not notice their existence on the network, hence the name transparent proxy.
They Address Threats and Data Breaches
The phishing phenomenon goes beyond email. Cybercriminals sometimes set up entire phishing pages whose URLs resemble the actual URLs of companies. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, a total of 611,877 phishing sites were registered, an increase of 269% compared to the first quarter of 2020.
Here the purpose of such pages is to collect credentials from unsuspecting users. Thanks to fast and efficient proxy servers in data centres, companies undertake network scraping to detect and block phishing pages.
They Protect against Email Phishing
Email phishing is a form of cyber crime in which criminals impersonate companies, specifically via email or SMS. They do this in order to steal cash or user account credentials. Furthermore, email phishing also leads to malware and ransomware, resulting in millions of dollars in losses.
To prevent this, organisations deploy proxy servers. Email security proxies facilitate seamless scraping, which involves screening emails for malicious content or links. As a result, they prevent threatening messages from reaching mailboxes. Especially proxy servers in data centres are preferred for this task due to their high performance, speed and availability.
In order to use proxy servers, businesses should also invest in adequate protection against ransomware. Our ransomware readiness checklists are a great place to start. Organisations that are serious about cyber security should test their incident response plans through specific tabletop ransomware exercises.
They Prevent the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks
A common problem that occurs is that of a DDoS attack. This is a malicious attempt to infect the operation of a website. The offenders usually send an excessive number of data requests, far more than the server can cope with, resulting in a heavy load and slowing down operations.
To stop these attacks, the company should use a CDN content delivery network. Generally, this is a network of proxy servers that is distributed across different areas. It works on the principle that each server within the CDN usually has the content of a website. As a result, people who look at these pages are redirected, connected to the nearest possible proxy from where they download the content.
In this instance, the reverse proxy prevents DDoS attacks the best. This is because the reverse proxy is placed at the end of the server’s internet link. This allows it to provide protection to the server against attacks by storing regularly viewed web pages in a cache for easy retrieval on demand. It is created by configuring the server accordingly.
They Protect against Brand/Identity Theft
Protecting well in this instance is again proxy server that works by keeping track of product listings. The proxy servers provide the ability to access geo-blocked websites. Proxy service providers typically have vast pools of IP addresses for each type of proxy. These pools contain IP addresses from different geographic locations. So, using proxies, companies access content to be displayed to residents of specific countries.
Best Practices to Configure and Manage Proxy Servers for Optimal Security
Proxy servers are often used for a variety of applications, including accessing restricted content, filtering internet traffic and enhancing security. However, if not properly configured and managed, they pose a serious security risk to organisations. We outline best practices for configuring and managing proxies for maximum security:
Disable Default Configuration
Turning off IP forwarding prevents NT from forwarding packets between any two interfaces on the system. A necessary condition for a fully secure proxy server. Furthermore, IP forwarding is required in at the very least one situation: when the proxy server acts as a RAS server. In this case, IP redirection is necessary because it enables RAS customers to communicate with the internal network. Because of this, I recommend leaving the RAS service out of the proxy server whenever possible. Where the proxy server acts as a PPTP-based RAS server, a special configuration can be used to maintain security. That configuration includes a PPTP filtering function and a special registry modification for PPTP.
Access Control Configuration
Implement strict access control policies to restrict access to the proxy server. Allow only authorised employees to access the proxy server and ensure that users have strong passwords and two factor authentication 2FA in place.
Use Secure and updated Proxy Server Software
Observe and Record Activity
Systematically Audit and Review your Configuration
Regularly review and audit your proxy server configurations to ensure they comply with your organisation’s security policy and best practices. Doing so would help identify and resolve any gaps or misconfigurations.
Utilise Multiple Proxy Providers
Consider using multiple proxy servers to increase redundancy and readiness. That ensures that your organisation continues to function even though one proxy server fails.
Apply Filters and Blocking
Use our filtering and blocking features to limit the amount of time a specific website or content is accessed. It blocks malicious sites and enforces strong policies to prevent users from downloading potentially harmful files.
Take Advantage of Encryption
Keep all traffic between your device and proxy secure by using an encryption protocol like HTTPS. This helps to protect your sensitive data from being intercepted by intruders.
That is it. Thank you for reading Using Proxy Servers for Enhanced Internet Security.
Using Proxy Servers for Enhanced Internet Security Conclusion
Finally, using a proxy server is one of the main ways to improve network security. It filters and blocks access to inappropriate content, as well as provide web traffic encryption and enhances user privacy.
In this article, we outlined what proxy servers are, why you should deploy them. We summarized their benefits. Furthermore, we talked about best practices for configuring and managing proxy servers to ensure optimal internet security. We did advise about the necessity of applying encryption, filtering and blocking network movement, as well as reviewing and auditing proxy server configuration on a regularly scheduled basis.
By applying such practices, the security threats on the web are minimised and the level of user privacy is increased. Thank you for your time.