A web content filtering vendor desired to incorporate a URL database and dynamic web content categorization into their web content filtering application and embed it into a child-friendly Android tablet to ensure safe web browsing while protecting children from inappropriate and adult-oriented web pages and malicious websites.
Leading provider of family- and child-safe electronics and games (“Web Content Filtering Provider”)
A cloud implementation using a lightweight API that provides high-speed, real-time URL look-ups for blocking objectionable and malicious websites.
“We required a URL database that had comprehensive protection and real-time detection for adult, inappropriate and malicious websites, as well as a very lightweight implementation for our tablet device.” -Managing Director, Web Content Filtering Provider
The Web Content Filtering Provider was challenged with providing a superior parental controls solution that would be pre-loaded on a child-friendly Android tablet. The Web Content Filtering Provider needed to enhance its parental controls offering with features that would provide for the real-time detection and blocking of pornographic, adult, inappropriate and malicious websites. The parental controls solution required a lightweight API with minimal RAM requirements on the tablet device, and which provided cloud-based URL queries, as well as coverage for the multiple European and North American markets where the tablet was being launched. The Web Content Filtering Provider required a solution that could scale rapidly in line with the launch and adoption of the tablet, while providing a pricing model that mirrored the Provider’s business model.
In addition to blocking the inappropriate content readily accessible on the Internet, the Web Content Filtering Provider identified the need to further enhance its parental controls offering with a solution that would provide protection from the increasing amount of malware and web threats targeting Android-based tablets. The Provider identified a number of enhancements required in order to provide a safer, child-friendly Web experience, which included:
- Detection/Blocking of porn and inappropriate content – the primary objective was to integrate a URL database and content categorization capability that provided comprehensive detection and blocking of porn, sex, hate, violence and other inappropriate content.
- Real-time malicious website protection – another key objective was to provide real-time protection against malicious and compromised websites, particularly those hosting spyware, malware, botnets, phishing, fraud and other exploits.
- Broad language support – dynamic content categorization support of websites for the European and North American markets where the tablet was being launched was also identified as a requirement.
- Lightweight API integration with cloud query support – the Web Content Filtering Provider required a lightweight API that could be easily integrated on the Android-based tablets and which supported high-speed URL queries for users in its European and American markets.
- Scalability – the Web Content Filtering Provider required a solution that could accommodate a rapid growth of tablet users following the initial launch as adoption rates increased.
- Flexible pricing model – the Web Content Filtering Provider required a pricing structure that mirrored its business model for rapid, but unpredictable, growth in multiple international markets.
- Custom URL category mapping – the flexibility to map the categories of the URL database to the Provider’s parental control category set, to enable easy-to-use management by the target market of families and kids.
With these requirements in mind, the Web Content Filtering Provider identified the need for a URL database technology partner that could provide the necessary technical capabilities to help deliver a safe Internet experience for families and children using the web filtering application on the tablet device.
“Assuring a child-friendly environment on a tablet packed with many of the same features as the adult tablets was a serious challenge. We needed a URL database and content categorization partner that truly understood the sensitive nature of the target market, as well as our integration and performance requirements.” -CTO, Web Content Filtering Provider
The Web Content Filtering Provider conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the zveloDB® and the zveloNET® cloud, with specific emphasis on coverage and detection for various types of adult and inappropriate content in the target markets and languages, as well as the ability to provide real-time detection of malicious websites. The evaluation criteria included:
- Adult/Porn Detection & Coverage – a test was performed of the zveloDB URL database for coverage of porn, sex, violence and other inappropriate websites in languages of the target countries where the tablet was being launched.
- Malicious website detection – an evaluation of zvelo coverage and detection of malicious websites, particularly those targeting Android-based devices, was performed, using a range of proprietary and third-party feeds and blacklists. Specific tests were also performed that evaluated the speed at which zvelo revisited websites previously detected as malicious to determine the revisit logic as/when websites are cleaned up or taken offline.
- Accuracy – an evaluation of the accuracy of the zveloDB URL database was conducted, with an in-depth analysis of over 10,000 URLs determined to be family friendly or kid-safe.
- Performance – an evaluation of the URL query performance of the tablet to the zveloNET cloud was conducted for users in Europe and America to ensure satisfactory response times.
- Integration – integration of the cache/cloud API was analyzed to verify that the footprint of the software could be accommodated by the RAM/Flash HDD available on the tablet device.
- Category Mapping – the Web Content Filtering Provider evaluated zvelo ability to provide the required “parental controls” category set by testing a range of URLs for proper category responses.
“The zveloDB and zveloNET Cloud API were quickly and easily integrated and surpassed our technical requirements in every way. Additionally, zvelo’s Service Delivery team was exceptionally responsive through the entire evaluation process.” -CTO, Web Content Filtering Provider
Following the thorough evaluation, the Web Content Filtering Provider and zvelo agreed to a partnership for the integration and deployment of the zveloDB URL database in the Provider’s parental controls offering to provide protection against adult, inappropriate and malicious websites. The Provider’s implementation included real-time lookups to the zveloNET cloud, which provides comprehensive website coverage, as well as real-time automated content categorization and malicious detection.
Web Content Filtering Provider’s Parental Controls Solution in Action:
The Provider’s parental controls solution provided a child-friendly, out-of-the-box experience, and helped achieve parental peace-of-mind. Safe, protected Web surfing on the tablet was achieved through real-time, high-speed URL category lookups to the zveloNET cloud. If the URL is identified as one of several adult, inappropriate or malicious categories, the user is blocked from accessing the site. If the URL is identified as being a child-safe website, the user’s access is allowed based on the parental controls’ filtering policies determined by parents.
Finally, if the URL is a new, previously uncategorized website (e.g. newwebsite.com), the URL is immediately processed by the zveloNET real-time AutoCat systems to determine the appropriate category and to identify if the website is infected, compromised or contains any type of threat. The newwebsite.com URL and its categories are then added to the zveloDB and available for any subsequent queries for the community of users across all of the zvelo customer base.
zveloNET’s ability to harness the collective web activity of all of the users of the zvelo customer base provides the basis for the extremely high coverage of the ActiveWeb*. Each additional user increases the breadth of ActiveWeb sites visited and categorized, thereby further increasing the coverage and malicious website detection for all of the collective users.
Benefits of zveloDB URL Database and zveloNET Cloud:
The zveloDB’s 99.99% coverage of the ActiveWeb, combined with zveloNET’s real-time AutoCategorization for new websites, provided excellent website coverage and accuracy for the Solution Provider’s kid-safe Android tablet, while the zvelo malicious website detection capabilities provided protection from malicious websites and other web-based threats. The Solution Provider quickly integrated the zveloNET cloud API, conducted thorough and extensive testing, and launched the tablet offering in multiple markets in time for the critical holiday shopping season.
Working closely with the Web Content Filtering Provider, the zveloDB was quickly integrated with the parental controls application on the child-safe tablet and the tablet manufacturer was able to meet its aggressive production and launch schedule.
“We found an excellent technology partner in zvelo. They have been extremely responsive from our initial contact and throughout the entire process. We had very stringent technical requirements, an aggressive delivery schedule and required a flexible business model that could scale rapidly and accommodate the unpredictable nature of the demand associated with new consumer offering. zvelo has consistently met each and every challenge and is a crucial business partner to our success.” -Managing Director, Web Content Filtering Provider
*ActiveWeb – those websites visited by actual users.