Anonymous proxies cause headaches for IT managers

News by SC Staff

Almost nine out of ten IT managers in schools and universities consider anonymous proxies to be a problem.

Almost nine out of ten IT managers in schools and universities consider anonymous proxies to be a problem.

According to research by Bloxx, blocking anonymous proxies is still a headache for IT managers and poses significant security and safety risks. It found that 87 per cent of IT managers in education consider anonymous proxies to be a problem, compared with 56 per cent and 44 per cent in the private and public sectors respectively.

According to Bloxx, anonymous proxies are the easiest and most popular way for users to bypass an organisation's internet filtering. Once connected to an anonymous proxy, users can surf any website completely unmonitored, even if the site should have been blocked by the organisation's web filter.

Dave Farrant, IT manager at Barking and Dagenham College, said: “Anonymous proxies were creating a significant problem for the college - excessive bandwidth was being used, students were accessing inappropriate content, we had a large number of viruses on our network and the IT team was spending a huge amount of time blocking access.”

The survey also found that over 60 per cent of IT managers consider anonymous proxies a significant network security threat, while the time spent dealing with anonymous proxies is also adding to the workload of IT managers.

Eamonn Doyle, CEO of Bloxx, said: “The volume and widespread availability of anonymous proxies continues to grow dramatically and there are now thousands of these sites created every week. Students in particular are using them to easily bypass web filtering so that they can surf the internet free from any restrictions, oblivious to the associated security or safety risks.

“Students are very adept at finding new proxy sites and the existence of new sites will quickly spread across a school or college. Unfortunately for many IT managers, by the time they have blocked access to the current proxy sites, students will already have found newer ones to move on to. The traditional approach of blocking access to anonymisers using legacy filtering techniques such as URL lists or keyword scoring is no longer effective.”

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