Several years ago, using a software system to monitor Internet usage may have been seen as the reserve of large Companies and not much of a concern to smaller Companies. Not any longer with the increase usage of social websites and the risks associated with them.
A reduction in productivity and time wasted on non-work related activities such as video streaming is just one of the reasons why more and more Companies are driving the implementation of monitoring and filtering of Internet usage.
This decision may simply be driven by a need to reduce any non-productive time within the office, yet sometimes there are significant security risks associated with unrestricted browsing.
Most people are familiar with walking into an office and seeing other members of staff quickly minimising their Internet browser because they were on FaceBook, eBay or simply checking their personal email accounts.
We all know that people conduct a large part of their social, financial and personal lives via such sites, so it understandable that unrestricted access at work will tempt people to access such sites.
There are people that aim to exploit “back doors” within computer networks. This is why viruses and malware exist that target such apps as FaceBook and web-based email accounts. Companies invest large amounts of time and money in protecting their core systems only to find that viruses are entering the network due to Users opening unsafe attachments from personal email accounts or visiting compromised websites.
The solution is to implement Internet monitoring software that will help protect from threats via scanning for malicious websites and preventing access to anything that will compromise the network.
Once members of staff are aware that Internet usage is being monitored, it is likely they’ll cut down the amount of time spent browsing non-work related sites. Widespread browsing within a Company is a drain on Company bandwidth, especially when accessing content rich sites such as FaceBook and YouTube, which can lead to many other issues.
Monitoring Internet usage and restricting it appropriately, without having to take draconian steps can be done simply and effectively. Good monitoring solutions allow settings to be configured, for example; enabling a sensible level of personal use, restricted by time periods or quantity of downloaded data.
Some organisations may see the monitoring of Internet usage as being intrusive; however, there are valid legal, productivity and security reasons as to why it should take place. Properly managed and configured monitoring solutions will help maintain a good balance between the needs of the Company and its members of staff taking a short break to check their emails or updating their social network status.
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