Products and Services

Can Umbrella block access to non-work websites?

March 7, 2019

How can I prevent my employees from accessing social media and other non-work-related websites on their company PC or laptop?

All companies expect employees to work during business hours, and although it needs careful consideration and internal management – Cisco Umbrella can be used to block employee access to non-work-related websites, such as social networking, gambling, gaming and pornography, which are key factors in time wasting and lack of business productivity.The great thing about Umbrella is that it works both on and off your network, so if an employee takes a laptop home, or away on a work trip – you can still take advantage of these great controls. It really has lots of flexibility around how it goes about monitoring and blocking access.If you’d prefer to just monitor and know what sites people are accessing, then that is also an option, but keep in mind that Umbrella also protects your computers from cyber attack, which often originate from these particular non-work-related websites.Umbrella is fully flexible, it can be adopted in different ways, with policies for different locations – using pre-defined content categories and an unlimited number of custom block or allow lists.Devices can be assigned policies with different internet access restrictions and logging settings based on whether they’re on or off your network. When an employee visits a website that you’ve deemed as non-work related, Umbrella informs the end user of the policy with a branded and fully customisable block page.


Category-based filteringUmbrella’s has 60+ content categories that cover millions of domains (and billions of web pages) to give you control over which sites can be accessed by users on your network and as well as roaming users. If you take up the Ironshare managed service we will discuss these categories with you and implement and manage them to your own business preference.Alternatively, there is a cloud-delivered administration console to enable you to set up, manage, and test different acceptable use policies per network, group, user, device, or IP address. This wide range gives you greater control of your organisation’s internet usage. You even have the flexibility to set up different policies depending on whether devices are on or off the corporate network.Compliance Umbrella enables you to customise our category-based filtering to meet each network’s specific needs, particularly to help you meet compliance requirements. Exceptions can be created to allow or block specific domains, regardless of whether it is in a category that is allowed or blocked. Our 60+ content categories empower you to enforce acceptable web use to comply with internal policies or external regulations. Cisco are also members of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), enabling you to block their list of child sexual abuse sites.Allow or block specific domainsWhen category-based blocking is not granular enough, Umbrella allows for the creation of allow and block lists for specific domains. Whitelisting domains (allow) ensures that your users can always access a particular site, even if it is in a category that is being blocked. Blacklists (block) operate in the opposite fashion by ensuring that a site on the blacklist is never accessible to your users. You can have unlimited entries in your whitelist and blacklist to accommodate your specific business needs.Block page bypass optionThe Umbrella block page bypass option lets you grant special permission to circumvent filtering settings without the use of any software or appliance. This feature enables you to assign individual users, such as your marketing managers, the ability to access specific filtering categories, such as social networking, or individual domains that are normally blocked on your network. Bypass privileges can be granted persistently on a per-user basis or through use of a bypass code, which grants access for timeframes ranging from one hour to 10 years.Whitelist-only featureThe whitelist-only feature in Umbrella is best used for networks where internet access should be restricted to allowing specific domains. This allows for a “locked-down” and controlled internet environment.

Purchasing Options

Option 1 – Ironshare supply you with the licensed productMaybe you’re quite familiar with Cisco Umbrella and you want to handle the ongoing management of it internally. As Cisco partners we can provide any of the Umbrella packages as a licensed product - you can then install within your environment and manage employee access to websites along with all the other wider day-to-day analysis and the periodic reporting.Option 2 – The Ironshare Managed ServiceIronshare offer a fully managed service, so we can take the strain away from your team – feeding back detailed information to make their life easier. It’s more of a collaborative service, but let’s your staff focus on their normal daily jobs without having to adopt and learn new products.We would implement and manage category-based filtering, tackle compliance concerns, allow or block specific domains or whitelist domains as you request.


Cisco Umbrella is a very simple and yet very powerful Cloud based platform that can be remotely deployed (within a day in some instances - depending on the complexity of your network). Once it’s in operation, it provides immediate predictive security, both on-and-off your network, as well as content filtering and block lists to give better control over user activity, and much more.IronShare provide a fully managed service, meaning that all you need to do is tell us what you want, and when. We’ll tailor the service to deliver content filtering, blocking and whitelisting as requested.Our service is relevant to companies of all shapes and size, meaning that even the smallest businesses can get a full enterprise service – using Umbrella to tackle employee activity concerns.If you'd like to get detailed pricing for Umbrella, please click here to Contact Us .



Stuart Hare is a Technologist with a passion for helping people in all aspects of IT & Cyber Security. Stuart is the Founder of Ironshare, an Information and Cyber Security company providing consultancy and managed services.

Samuel is a Security Analyst with Ironshare, an Information and Cyber Security company providing Security consultancy and managed services.

Joshua is working as a Managed Service Lead with Ironshare, an Information and Cyber Security company providing Security consultancy and managed services.


Ironshare is a provider of Information and Cyber Security services.

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