Maintaining control of the level of interactivity end users are allowed to have with the internet is a common directive among internal technology departments. The data flow needs to be regulated for liability and security reasons, and there are several ways this control can be maintained. Not to be overlooked, one of the oldest, most popular and best established way to control and monitor internet traffic in this was is the proxy server. Not to be sold short in light of modern plug-ins that can be added to firewall management software that offer similar functionality or separately sold dedicated traffic monitoring appliances, a proxy server can offer a perfectly robust traffic monitoring, access regulation and analysis capability.
The proxy server can be configured to use certain rule sets to simply block unwanted web sites. It can also be configured to look for specific key words, such as derogatory or foul language. When a forbidden criteria for a web page is encountered, the page will be replaced with an informational page of your choosing or design to inform the user that a page was block, and if programmed to do so, the exact reason. This level of control can help curb liability issues inherent in unrestricted internet access.
There are also security enhancing properties in the very nature of the way a proxy server functions. Computers make requests for web access to the proxy server instead of directly to the web, and the data is fetched by the proxy server and relayed back to the originating computer. This effectively isolates the computer from contact with questionable or dangerous sites, and allows the proxy server to scan traffic for trojans and other forms of infection as the data crosses between the web server and the client computer. Using a proxy server is just as effective as it has ever been at providing enhanced control and security for environments that include internet connectivity.