Are corporations snooping on their employees? Are privacy issues being breached when companies use Internet monitoring software? We take a look at this issue and its security implications to see if corporations are turning into Big Brother, or if this software is actually helping employees keep their jobs.
The Internet is not a safe place. Malware and viruses lurk in every corner and are delivered to machines through a wide variety of vectors. Infection can cost an organization a great deal of money – not just in terms of the time taken to track down the malicious code, but also to disinfect. In addition, the cleaning of malware and viruses can result in costly system downtime.
As a result, companies are understandably concerned when it comes to security. And Internet monitoring software can be an effective tool in keeping your systems safe from attack.
A deep defense
By applying effective Internet monitoring software, network administrators can prevent the inadvertent introduction of malware and viruses to user machines. Employees often take advantage of high bandwidth corporate networks to download files, such as movies, for later viewing. Apart from the legal issues that this exposes an organization to, it can also result in the introduction of unsafe files into the network.
Abnormal bandwidth consumption, such as during a large download, can be detected. In addition, the introduction of files into the network can be controlled and access granted on a case-by-case basis. This keeps your network safe, while still allowing employees to perform their normal work duties.
You expect employees to browse a few sites in their spare moments. In fact, many organizations have an acceptable use policy. However, there are always going to be those that test the boundaries of what constitutes “acceptable use”. Internet monitoring software can track usage and ensure everyone plays fair, as well as restrict the websites that can be accessed to ensure employee productivity is retained.
This can also be important for preventing social engineering attacks on your organization. These often use malicious websites that pose as trusted sources. By restricting browsing to known, safe sites, you can prevent your employees from accidentally giving out confidential information, such as banking access codes.
Change is not always good
Your network can be a complex organism that requires careful management to ensure smooth functioning. Allowing employees to apply software updates or install new applications without administrator approval can make for a chaotic environment. That can impact system performance, and thus productivity.
It is far better to use Internet monitoring software to control changes that may be implemented on your network, allowing you to maintain a standardized environment that functions the way you want it to.
As you can see, Internet monitoring software is not all about snooping and corporate Big Brother tactics. Instead it provides an additional layer of security to protect organizations from the many dangers and attack vectors that exist. And, given the development of data anonymization that prevents data being traced to a specific employee unless required, there are far fewer privacy issues at stake. So now Big Brother is actually watching over you, rather than just watching you.
This guest post was provided by Peter Wisner on behalf of GFI Software Ltd. GFI is a leading software developer that provides a single source for network administrators to address their network security, content security and messaging needs. Learn more about why you need Internet monitoring software.
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