Decide How You Want to Enforce URL Categories

To first deploy URL filtering in your network, we recommend that you start with a basic setup that’ll give you visibility into web activity patterns while blocking confirmed malicious content:
  • Start with a (mostly) passive URL Filtering profile that alerts on most categories. This gives you visibility into the sites your users are accessing, so you can decide what you want allow, limit, and block.
  • Block URL categories that we know are bad: malware, C2, and phishing.
  • Block or strongly limit access to high-risk content. While high-risk sites are not confirmed malicious, they are closely associated with malicious sites. For example, they might be on the same domain as malicious sites or maybe they hosted malicious content until only very recently.
Because alerting on all web activity might create a large amount of log files, it’s a good idea to do this only when you’re initially deploying URL Filtering. After determining the categories you want to sanction, you can set those categories to allow, which will not generate logs.
At that time, you can also reduce URL filtering logs by enabling the Log container page only option in the URL Filtering profile so only the main page that matches the category will be logged, not subsequent pages/categories that may be loaded within the container page.
  1. Create a new URL Filtering profile.
    1. Select ObjectsSecurity ProfilesURL Filtering.
    2. Select the default profile and then click Clone. The new profile will be named default-1.
    3. Select the default-1 profile and rename it. For example, rename it to URL-Monitoring.
  2. Configure the action for all categories to alert, except for malware, command-and-control, and phishing, which should remain blocked.
    1. In the section that lists all URL categories, select all categories.
    2. To the right of the Action column heading, mouse over and select the down arrow and then select Set Selected Actions and choose alert.
    3. Block access to sites that we know are dangerous: malware, command-and-control, and phishing.
      The complete list of URL categories that we recommend you block as a best practice are: malware, command-and-control, phishing, dynamic-dns, unknown, copyright-infringement, extremism, proxy-avoidance-and-anonymizers, parked, and high-risk.
    4. If you’re hesitant to block high-risk content outright, you can take precautionary measures to limit your users’ interaction with it. This applies to any category that might present safety concerns, but to which you still want to grant your users access (for example, you might want to allow your developers to use developer blogs for research, yet blogs are a category known to commonly host malware).
    5. Click OK to save the profile.
  3. Apply the URL Filtering profile to the security policy rule(s) that allows web traffic for users.
    1. Select PoliciesSecurity and select the appropriate security policy to modify it.
    2. Select the Actions tab and in the Profile Setting section, click the drop-down for URL Filtering and select the new profile.
    3. Click OK to save.
  4. Save the configuration.
    Click Commit.
  5. View the URL filtering logs to determine all of the website categories that your users are accessing. The categories you’ve set to block are also logged.
    For information on viewing the logs and generating reports, see Monitor Web Activity.
    Select MonitorLogsURL Filtering. A log entry will be created for any website that exists in the URL filtering database that is in a category set to any action other than allow.

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