- This article explains how Workplace integrates Cisco Umbrella to protect your environment from malicious or inappropriate websites.
- Web browsing within Workplace provides a first line of defense that prevents the threats you might face while online instead of dealing with their consequences.
Why should I browse the web on a hosted browser?
- When you use a hosted browser, all ports and protocols are guarded by Umbrella. This minimizes risk of infection for your company's environment.
- You don't have to compromise on performance for security! Umbrella is extremely lightweight and produces no noticeable delay or performance impact.
- In the extremely unlikely event that an infection finds its way into your company's environment, Umbrella provides an extra layer of protection. It will effectively prevent connections to attacker’s servers, stop your data from being stolen, and prevent ransom-ware execution.
How does it work?
Umbrella uses the internet’s infrastructure to block malicious destinations before a connection is ever established. It does this by interceding on behalf of your "Domain Name Server".
What is a "Domain Name Server?"
When you type in a web address in your browser (in the below example, "safepage.com"), your computer first has to find the "IP address" on the internet (a unique numerical identifier for something reachable on the Internet) that this web address points to. There are special servers on the Internet to do that, called "Domain Name Servers". They provide a matching IP address (in the below example, "126.96.36.199") for the web address you entered so that you can connect to the website.
Where does Umbrella come in?
The protection from Workplace's integration with Umbrella comes into play as soon as you enter a web address and it begins looking up the IP address to match the the site you are looking to visit. The web address for your desired destination is inspected, and if the destination is safe, you're pointed to the correct IP address right away.
However, if the destination is a malicious website or contains dangerous traffic (in this example, "danger.com"), Workplace does not allow you to even establish a connection to it. Instead, it shows you an information page notifying you that the site was blocked and the reason why.
What kind of web traffic is blocked within a hosted browser?
The following categories of websites/internet traffic are blocked by default:
Can we tighten security further?
Yes, contact your Workplace support team for further information. At the request or permission of your Company Manager, we can do the following:
- Add additional categories to the list
- Block specific sites to enhance category filtering
What if a site I need is blocked?
To Provide Continual Access To Your Company
When you encounter a blocked site, you can click on the "Contact your networks administrator" link. This will bring up a form where you can submit your information and a message as shown below:
Your Workplace support team will review the request with our security team and your Company Manager. If the site is deemed safe and compliant with your company's policies, it will be added to an "Allow List" that will grant access to the entire company from that point forward.
For Immediate Access (if configured for your company)
If you really need the ability to access a blocked site immediately, you can contact your workplace_ support team to obtain "bypass credentials". (WARNING: It is highly recommended that you submit sites for review via the method describe in the previous section. Bypassing this protection and review process opens your company up to security risk that would otherwise be avoided.)
When you encounter a blocked site, you can click on the "Admin" link (only visible if you have bypass credentials configured) and enter your credentials into the screen shown below:
This is great! How can I make sure my company gets this protection?
- Workplace's integration of Cisco Umbrella is being rolled-out to our companies in controlled groups and will be in place for everyone in the near future. If you have questions about when it will be available to you, please reach out to your Workplace support team.
- At this time, this protection only extends to hosted web browsers. In the future, this protection will be extended to your local PC through workplace windows_ and workplace mac_. There is no ETA on this, but we will keep everyone up to date as we develop this exciting technology!