URLs are powerful indicators of compromise. Identifying them systematically is a key cyber threat intelligence task, especially for technologies and security operations teams that need to process massive data streams. But what would you use this information for?
First, URL categorization helps to run cyber hygiene assessments by uncovering the use of adult content, phishing or gambling sites, VPN service websites, peer-to-peer services, or social media. Knowing if users are abusing company resources or taking missteps in their use of company IT resources leads to an improved cyber security posture.
Second, for cyber forensics and investigation, URL classification can help track malicious actors, identify sites that promote malicious software distribution, or spot attempts to circumvent security solutions, like using a remote proxy.
In essence, if you want to answer questions like: "Is anyone trying to bypass my security controls?", "Where is my data going?", "Are my users sticking to good security practices?" you will greatly benefit from URL classification.