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K12USA.com Introduces SSL Intercept, Helping K–12 Schools Resolve a Major Content-Filtering Issue
Integrates with SecureSchool internet filter and firewall to dynamically filter HTTPS traffic in real time.
By: Networks & More
When Edward Snowden exposed the NSA for its spying scandal in 2013, website owners—including Google, Yahoo!, YouTube, and Wikipedia—switched from HTTP (hyper text transfer protocol) to HTTPS (hyper text transfer protocol secure). Encrypting data over a secure socket layer (SSL), HTTPS protects against eavesdropping, tampering, and man-in-the-middle attacks.
However, for K–12 schools—which are required to block pornographic and other inappropriate content considered harmful to minors—HTTPS is problematic. Garden-variety Internet filters can't view encrypted HTTPS content, and non-viewable content can't be filtered.
That makes it impossible for filters to do their job, leaving schools with two unattractive options:
1. Block all HTTPS traffic and deprive staff and students of important online educational tools, like Wikipedia, Google, and Khan Academy
2. Allow all HTTPS traffic and risk unsuitable content coming through
K12USA SSL Intercept restores a school's ability to filter traffic. Functioning like a trusted man in the middle (TMITM), it:
• Decrypts incoming and outgoing traffic
• Unencrypts the content
• Dynamically filters the content in real time by examining what's on the page
• Determines if the on-page content is permissible or not
• Re-encrypts the page and accepts or rejects it, depending on its permissibility score
This method scrutinizes each page for inappropriate content, as opposed to blocking an entire URL. For example, a Wikipedia page for "porn stars" would be denied, whereas a Wikipedia entry for "Star Wars" would be allowed.
"The switch to HTTPS was a challenge for Internet filters that could no longer view and properly filter traffic," says K12USA.com founder and CEO James Punderson. "Our SSL intercept is an easy, inexpensive solution that allows SecureSchool to filter and block previously untouchable content."
For more information, visit www.K12USA.com, call 877-225-0100, or email support@K12USA.com.
About K12USA.com: Founded in 1999 by former teacher and school IT consultant James Punderson IV, K12USA.com (http://www.k12usa.com)