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Why CTO’s should enforce adblocking on their networks

Posted by on July 13, 2015.

Recent research from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia has illustrated that blocking advertising on their enterprise network cut bandwidth usage by 25-40%.  They used AdblockPlus, the most popular browser plugin in the world, for a period of six weeks and actively recorded how it impacted network traffic and bandwidth consumption.  In their paper they conclude three significant benefits to the use of Adblock Plus on their network:

  1. Reduced network data demand means that an internal network running Adblock Plus would have lower infrastructure costs than a comparable network without Adblock Plus. This would also mean lower maintenance and staffing costs as well.
  2. Reduced network data demand would also translate into lower commodity network costs as less data overall would be downloaded from external network sources.
  3. Reduced network data demand may indicate lower energy costs. There is some evidence – not tested here, but it is consistent with our findings – that using Adblock Plus may reduce overall energy costs, which when scaled to large networks could be substantial

However, there are other significant benefits to blocking advertising on your organisation’s network as well.  For example – if we take the three points above into consideration it means there should also be a direct correlation to a decrease in network activity as well – this means your networks will run faster and significantly so, because Adblock Plus blocks the connection to the advertising before it is ever downloaded – that means less traffic on your internal network as well as a saving on bandwidth costs for Internet usage.

Furthermore, advertising is a notorious security issue with frequent reports of malicious software being distributed over badly managed advertising networks which means the risk of having your organisation’s network and infrastructure compromised is significantly increased if you are not blocking advertising on your networks.  By allowing advertising on your networks you could be setting yourself up for the next big data breach; and what about insurance – do you think it is likely an insurance company will cover a breach if they find out you could have prevented it by simply blocking advertising?

Also, one has to ask – what business does advertising have on your organisation’s networks anyway?  Is the workplace really a suitable place to present advertising – and why should your corporation pay to do the work of the advertising companies anyway?

So it is clear – asides from the privacy issues (which I would normally write about) there is a very significant economic reason to block advertising – it saves your organisation money and a lot of it; it also makes your networks more secure.  So if you are a CTO whether it be for a large corporation or a public sector institution, even a public library or University – do yourself and everyone else a favour – install Adblock Plus.  It is free, there are zero consequences and the benefits are significant.

(And no, I wasn’t paid to write this article)


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2 thoughts on “Why CTO’s should enforce adblocking on their networks

  1. Martin Zinaich on said:

    Do be careful, as some sites use the AD servers to host parts of the menu. This in an effort to make sure ad blocking is not being used. Adblock Plus is one of the better options. Back in the day, I used the corporate proxy server to do this on a global basis: http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/feature/7919.html

  2. Careful, though. Ad blocker configurations can be tricky.

    For example, AdBlock Plus is set up to allow third-party tracking by default, which lets a bunch of potentially risky items through.

    Alternatives include Disconnect and Privacy Badger, which do block third-party tracking, or, if you do deploy ABP, check to make sure that “EasyPrivacy” is on.

    http://blog.aloodo.org/posts/adblockers-myths-facts/

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Submitted in: Alexander Hanff, Expert Views | Tags: , ,