Ads are annoying but even worse are the threats now presented by ads online – something that’s been around for a while called “malvertising”.
By default on Firewall-Z we subscribe to a multitude of ad blocking lists to block advertisements and we also maintain our own custom ad blocking list. Here’s an example of a YouTube video from behind your typical firewall:
Here you notice the ad playing, it’s designated such by the little yellow “ad” icon in the bottom left hand corner. You’re used to seeing these because many times after 5 or 10 seconds you can “skip this ad” and go to your content.
If you’re behind a Firewall-Z protected network the ad never loads and it skips right to the content when watching YouTube ads.
Notice the firewall log that says what got blocked by the DNS block list:
Google Syndication (ad network) and DoubleClick (one of the first ad networks online!) are both blocked. You want to block ads because ads have become a mechanism for hackers and exploiters to not only track you with a cheap ad they can put online in no time at all but also craft the malware behind an ad that targets the vulnerabilities found thanks to the granular metrics they’re given by the ad networks.
Ever wonder why that Toyota car keeps popping up in ads on various sites? Because it follows you and if Toyota can follow you what do you think hackers can do? The same thing and more!
There are other ways to block ads but doing it at the firewall is the recommended method because it will be able to protect EVERY device using it to surf the web and get online. The firewall makes the ad blocking feature universal.
With Firewall-Z you can do ad blocking out of the box. No licensing, no restrictions, no problems. Once you lock out ads your users will be happier and bandwidth more plentiful! You’ll also be safer against the malvertising threat that is getting becoming a larger and larger threat to your corporate network.