UAB introducing new adult web content filtering process

To reduce risk to the UAB network and data, UAB is enhancing the current web content filtering process to alert users before they continue to a site that UAB’s enterprise security platform categorizes as “adult” content.

Beginning after business hours on Sept 20, 2019, anyone attempting to access a web site that is categorized as “adult” will be directed to a page that says “click to continue” to visit the site. No one will be prevented from continuing to such a site. However, the activity will be logged and tied to your BlazerID should further investigation be needed.

How it works:

  • The new filtering process will apply to the UAB network, wired and wireless. The student residence halls, which use a separate network, will not be affected.
  • UAB IT’s information security team will conduct periodic audit sampling of those users who click to continue to such sites, and audit results will be provided to University leadership.
  • If there is a legitimate business need to access this site, you can submit a security exception request in the IT Tech Help portal.
  • If you feel the site is not categorized properly, you may request a change from this site after looking up its current categorization.

The new web filtering process has been approved by the Faculty Senate. Additionally, UAB Information Security Liaisons were given advance notice and opportunity to provide feedback.

The enterprise security platform’s definition for the “adult” category is “sexually explicit material, media (including language), art and/or products, online groups or forums that are sexually explicit in nature. Sites that promote adult services such as video/telephone conferencing, escort services, strip clubs, etc. Anything containing adult content (even if it is games or comics) will be categorized as adult.”

Adult-oriented web sites have traditionally been a source of organizational concern because they contain a higher percentage of malicious content, present an increased risk to UAB, and could create HR or student conduct issues. The filtering process also aligns with UAB’s Acceptable Use of Computer and Network Resources policy.

UAB uses an enterprise security platform to help secure the campus network. UAB’s currently blocked categories are malware; command and control; and phishing.

Last modified on September 09, 2019