Protecting your computer against malware and unsafe pages.

As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance the security of our users’ daily working and learning experience, the Library and Information Technology Services (LITS) department has deployed a secure internet gateway service that helps you navigate the web more securely. With the introduction of Cisco Umbrella, Hamilton College now protects our network, devices, and users from accessing malicious sites, which could be the source of phishing scams, malware, ransomware, or other security risks, while continuing to strongly support freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas.

Cisco Umbrella is a cloud security platform that provides an additional line of defense against malicious software and threats on the internet by using threat intelligence. That intelligence helps prevent adware, malware, botnets, phishing attacks, and other known bad Websites from being accessed.

What is domain name service (DNS)?

The job of a DNS server is to translate a human-readable web address (like www.google.com) into a computer-readable number also known as an IP address ( Once your computer knows the IP location of a web domain name, it opens the website in your browser. DNS is working behind the scenes every time we use a web browser, email program, or cloud-based service.

What is DNS security?

DNS Security helps prevent information security incidents by adding threat intelligence into the DNS translation process. That intelligence prevents adware, malware, botnets, phishing attacks, and other known bad websites from being accessed.

What is Cisco Umbrella DNS?

Cisco Umbrella is a cloud-hosted solution that protects users by blocking connections to sites that have been reported as malicious.

How does Cisco Umbrella work?

Hamilton College’s DNS servers forward all external website requests to the Cisco Umbrella cloud for resolution and a determination on whether a website is safe. End-users who reach out to malicious websites will be blocked and will receive a security notification in their browser.

Blocked sites will display a screen similar to this:umbrella_block_window





How do I get a site unblocked?

If you are attempting to access a legitimate website that you believe poses no threat to Hamilton College's network, data, or users, you may request the site be unblocked by clicking on the infosec@hamilton.edu link to explain why you believe that the blocked link is safe. LITS will send this information to Cisco to have them review the website to confirm that there is no threat or vulnerability.

Will this impact access to Hamilton College internal sites?

No, Cisco Umbrella only resolves external websites and works in conjunction with Hamilton's internal DNS systems.

Is my viewing history accessible?

No one at Hamilton College is reviewing an individual's web viewing history. Umbrella provides an aggregate daily security overview report to the Director of Information Security and Privacy. This daily security overview provides a snapshot of security-related activity including an overview chart of events, a hierarchical view of security activity, and statistical charts of deployment activity.

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

Any additional questions regarding the Cisco Umbrella service should be referred to the Hamilton College Information Security Officer at infosec@hamilton.edu or by dialing x4289.


Jerry Tylutki

Information Security Officer

Help us provide an accessible education, offer innovative resources and programs, and foster intellectual exploration.

Site Search