Filtering online content on a large network is a difficult task, especially for networks within major companies or those managed by ISPs, Managed Service Providers (MSPs), and Value Add Resellers (VARs).
Whether you are attempting to prevent access to inappropriate content within a corporate environment or block access to illegal content on your network, content filtering can be difficult.
Application-layer firewalls which provide filtering can be used to block key words, DNS requests, and domain names, but they struggle to function properly when traffic is encrypted, making this an insufficient solution to implement when filtering P2P traffic. Not to mention, these products are usually very expensive and can only be afforded by a very specific segment of the market such as enterprise-size organisations.
Other solutions such as DNS poisoning allow networks to block access to inappropriate content by redirecting all DNS requests through to commercial DNS services with a list of blacklisted domains. Upon accessing an inappropriate website, the end user will receive a blocking page served by the commercial DNS provider, which more often than not, is somewhat ineffective as it can be easily bypassed by savvy users. Also, these DNS content filter solutions are often very costly.
Additionally, traditional network traffic monitoring can be expensive and resource-intensive in addition to requiring complex manual configuration and maintenance.
LucidView has developed an extremely affordable solution that aims to address these issues through its Enforcer Portal for MikroTik routers, which offers a powerful content filtering (DNS & firewall) and reporting engine, enabling administrators to provide true “Clean Internet”.
Standard and Bolt-On packages from LucidView
The LucidView Enforcer functions as both a content filter and reporting solution, configurable via a GUI interface.
From this easy-to-use interface, administrators can change content filtering settings, monitor network traffic, and generate reports.
The Portal grants you access to dashboard views for all your client Enforcers, scaling with your network seamlessly while maintaining an accessible and easily manageable interface.
Value-Added Resellers (VARs), Managed Service Providers (MSPs), and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can install the LucidView Enforcer onto many MikroTik routers via a script provided directly by the Portal.
Logging into the MikroTik Enforcer Portal provided by LucidView will then allow you to generate one of two types of install scripts for your MikroTik router – Standard Enforcer or Bolt-On Enforcer.
The Standard Enforcer option is created from a blank state using configuration settings defined by the LucidView VAR portal, including IP addresses.
The Bolt-On solution can be added to existing MikroTik router installs without changing their network configurations. However, it does redirect DNS traffic to intercept and police requests.
This allows users to “bolt-on” the content filtering and traffic reporting features of the LucidView Enforcer to their MikroTik installations.
Companies and network managers can then personalise their Portal with their own branding, which will be visible by their clients on each managed Enforcer.
Filtering and Reporting
Through the LucidView Enforcer Portal, administrators can easily block pre-defined website categories including anonymizers, torrents, gambling, adult, and untrustworthy sites. This solution also provides the ability to detect and defend against ransomware, as well as to block access to the TOR network.
A variety of analysis tools are available from the dashboard and can be set up to provide pre-defined automated reports on a regular basis via email, too.
Graphs, data tables, and charts can be grouped by source IP data usage, top domains, website categories, and much more.
Below is an example of a website category report generated by the LucidView Enforcer dashboard.
For a live demo of the Interface the LucidView Enforcer, where one configures the content filter, and pulls reports, have a look here.
The LucidView Enforcer Portal can also calculate the total cost of all your Enforcers on a daily basis, conveniently showing costs for Portal services in addition to individual Enforcers.
LucidView’s content filtering and reporting service is priced extremely competitively compared to its competitors, and offers cutting-edge features.
LucidView International has seen increasing adoption of its LucidView Enforcer product across Europe and the United Kingdom, and will be presenting the Mikrotik Enforcer Portal solution at the MikroTik MUM conference in the UK on 8 October and at the MikroTik MUM conference in Turkey on 15 October.
If you are searching for an easily-accessible, scalable, and reliable content filtering and reporting solution, the LucidView MikroTik Enforcer Portal will be able to handle any situation.
For details on how to set up and use the LucidView Enforcer product, you can consult MyBroadband’s review of the product.