ContentKeeper – 2023, A Year of Improvements

Over the course of 2023, Impero released ten (10) major product updates for the ContentKeeper web filtering and cybersecurity solution. These updates have improved the…

Over the course of 2023, Impero released ten (10) major product updates for the ContentKeeper web filtering and cybersecurity solution. These updates have improved the security, stability, and core functionality of our cloud services, core web filtering, and OS specific device clients.  

ContentKeeper continues to provide the best web filtering hardware on the market, but we recognize the capital cost of purchasing hardware, and the technical overhead of hosting equipment, can be a challenge. Which is why during 2023 dramatic improvements were made to ContentKeeper cloud environments. 

New installations always receive the latest version, but for existing customers the latest version is not always recommended. Customers should work directly with the Impero Support team to determine which version is right for them.  

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from 2023.  

Hybrid Filtering  

Our latest release optimizes ContentKeeper hardware so it can take advantage of cloud services.  For new customers, this means the comprehensive feature set and added security only available through on-premise hardware is more affordable. ‘Hybrid’ deployments of ContentKeeper now require a smaller hardware footprint.  

For existing customers, the value of your ContentKeeper hardware investment has increased. With the latest release, hardware can be configured to handle more devices, more traffic, and higher filtering loads.  

Cloud services are included with most ContentKeeper software subscriptions which means current customers can expand and improve their filtering without additional hardware investment.  

Cloud Filtering 

Hybrid filtering is our most popular deployment option because it offers comprehensive control and advanced reporting options – including filter circumvention controls.  

However, for some organizations full cloud filtering with no hardware is the preferred option. ContentKeeper has made dramatic improvements to our full cloud filtering options during 2023. Improved reporting capabilities, region specific filtering, more YouTube controls, and enhanced support for macOS devices are now available.  

ContentKeeper Express  

ContentKeeper cloud services and device mobility are made possible through CK Express clients installed on managed devices. We’ve made dramatic improvements to all the CK Express clients including Chrome, Windows, iOS … and our latest addition macOS!  

  • macOS now supported. Our new client for macOS eliminates the need for proxies or vpn backhauling. CK Express is available for all your devices!  
  • Quick app detection for ChromeOS. The updated browser extension detects if the CK Express client is installed and engages filtering wherever the device is located. This can dramatically improve the user experience for shared Chromebooks (e.g. Chromebook carts). 
  • Authentication handled by Chrome extension. You no longer need a separate CK Authenticator extension. The Express extension now handles all auth packets.  
  • Enhanced YouTube Controls. Currently limited to Windows and ChromeOS clients, there is now support to filter by YouTube Category and allow/block Suggestions. We anticipate rolling these out to macOS and iOS in 2024. 
  • Region support & security enhancements for all. Most organizations won’t need to use the new capabilities that support deployments to different geographical regions (ensuring data privacy and sovereignty rules are followed) but software that is more secure, more stable, and faster … that’s something everyone can get behind. All the Express clients – Windows, Chrome, iOS, macOS – have received security and stability enhancements in 2023. 

ContentKeeper Web Filter Pro 

The heart of Impero’s web filtering solution is the ContentKeeper Web Filter Pro platform. When to update to the latest version depends on your specific needs,  but we encourage all customers to upgrade when significant security enhancements are made.  

In June 2023 we released CK Web Filter Pro v194.21 with security, scalability, and general performance enhancements. All customers should be running v194.21 or later. 

Since June, we’ve released v194.22, and v194.23 to small groups of customers testing new capabilities and additional enhancements. We expect to release v194.24 before the end of 2023, but again, customers should work directly with the Impero Support team to determine which version is right for them. 

Here are some highlights from the releases in 2023:  

  • Security enhancements. We don’t typically disclose why or how security improvements are made (this is for your protection) but you should know we continue to improve the security of our software. We’ve improved encryption, authentication processes, updated system modules, and generally improved the security of our core functions. Most customers should be running v194.21 or later to ensure up to date security. 
  • Performance enhancement for Advanced Services Module. The latest update of the Advanced Services Module (ASM) includes general performance improvements and support for WebSockets via the CK Global Proxy. This capability was introduced with 194.21. 
  • Support for multiple Google domains. Retrieve user and group information from multiple Google domains. This capability was introduced with 194.19. 
  • New Microsoft Tenant controls.  Restrict access to Microsoft services by specifying allowed tenants / domains. This capability was introduced with 194.19. 
  • Support for CK Express DNSv3. To take advantage of the region specific capabilities found in CK Express clients requires an update of the core software. This capability was introduced with 194.19. 

Current customers can learn more about the latest versions of CK Express from the Impero Customer Portal. A list of the current versions along with release notes is available at: Current ContentKeeper General Deployment Versions 

Impero’s product and development teams are hard at work on new releases and new versions of our award winning software. If you have questions, concerns, or feature requests, please contact Impero Support. They are ready and waiting to assist you.  

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