A new research report issued today from Bloxx, provider of Web content filtering and security , reveals that anonymous proxies, which students use to get around Web filtering controls, are still a common threat for IT professionals looking to protect students from inappropriate content and malware attacks against their networks.
The survey of more than 250 IT professionals in the United States (U.S.) and United Kingdom (U.K.) shows that 67 percent of schools and colleges are still struggling to deal effectively with anonymous proxies. An anonymous proxy is a site, often with a harmless looking URL, that gives users open access to any available Website and bypasses any filtering control. With the wide availability of free software and instructions on how to create them, thousands of new proxy sites are created every week.
Accessing the Web using a proxy could expose students to inappropriate content, which can put an institution at risk for non-compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) in the U.S. or of failing a government inspection in the U.K.
The study also looked at the length of time a network might be at risk before an anonymous proxy is detected and blocked. While an encouraging 66% of respondents said they typically find a threatening proxy within “a few hours,” it can take a day or more to find and block a proxy for 27 percent of those schools and colleges surveyed.
A copy of this research, The Impact of Anonymous Proxies in Education, is available for download at http://get.bloxx.com/ap2014.