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Geoblocking: What Is It Actually? And What Does It Mean For Corporate IT?

What does Geoblocking mean? Why are there providers who advertise bypassing Geoblocking? Can the technology be used usefully as a company? In this blog article about geoblocking, we provide answers to all these questions – and many useful tips from practice.

Geoblocking & geotargeting – what’s behind it

Everyone leaves footprints on the internet. With the help of the IP address, which every user receives automatically at the moment when he or she surfs the Internet with an Internet-enabled device, it can be traced back from where on earth the website is accessed. The IP address is essentially a hybrid of a fingerprint and a zip code.

Conversely, this information about the origin of a user on the Internet can also be used to exclude him or her from defined products. If this happens, then it is a matter of so-called geo-blocking. As you can already deduce from the name, defined areas of origin or countries are excluded from a digital offer. Means exactly: If you want to visit a website from a certain country, for example , access can be denied because of the geographical origin, read off from the IP address range. The method is mainly used to prevent licensing problems based on copyright protection

“This service is not available in your country” – or is it?!

If you enter the term geoblocking in a search page, you will mainly find instructions and tools on how to bypass geoblocking in a targeted manner. Designed for people who would like to be able to access all videos and other offers on the Internet from anywhere in the world without restrictions, without possibly being subject to state or licensing regulations. Technically, this is possible via a proxy server in the country not affected by the blocking, or a so-called VPN (Virtual Private Network) tunnel, which hides your own IP address and thus pretends to be in a different location than one actually is.

Such obfuscation tactics are definitely not in the interests of the website operators, but they are not illegal either. Although there are already regulations on geo-blocking in the EU, these have so far been lacking in terms of the technical possibilities for circumventing geo-blocking. Unless there is a different verdict, it is legal to avoid geoblocking by using a proxy server or VPN. As a result, some website operators are now prohibiting circumvention of geo-blocking in their general terms and conditions.

Should you use geoblocking at work?

In addition to the countless explanations on how to avoid geo-blocking, headlines such as: “Stop Russian hackers with geo-blocking!” Sounds like a good enlightenment, right? Easily block access from all countries where no employees are located and thus protect your own IT infrastructure. Blocking your own company network through access from unknown IP addresses is a common and simple method – it can and should only be a small part of a comprehensive IT security plan. Because: As already described, you can easily avoid geoblocking. Hackers, wherever they may come from, use their actual IP for their attacks in the rarest of situations, but mostly disguise their lineage,

Geo-blocking alone can therefore never be an effective tool for IT protection, but rather belongs in the area: If you leave the window open all the time, you don’t have to worry about bugs getting in sooner or later. The blocking of IP addresses from areas of the world on one’s own network, from which no access is necessary, is therefore necessary, but taken by itself is not something that offers really secure protection. In order to secure corporate IT, a comprehensive check of network access via the firewall is necessary.

For example, to protect against so-called DDos attacks, the firewall should also be configured so that the number of connections per IP address is limited. In addition, the firewall must be regularly maintained. Firmware updates and an update of the geo-blocked IP addresses must be carried out regularly in order to guarantee secure protection over the long term.

If geoblocking is not yet a cornerstone of your IT protection, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can check and update your firewall and provide the best possible protection for your company network. We are your experts for everything to do with IT security, firewalls and geoblocking.

Also Read: The Importance Of Cybersecurity For SMEs

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