Online Holiday Shopping Can Cost Your Business More Than Time

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Online Shopping Risks

Cyber Monday is no more – in an uncertain economy, post-Thanksgiving online holiday shopping has increased since coined in 2005 and now lasts for one month with more than 50% of all online spending taking place during working hours1.  What does this mean for your business?  A large decrease in employee productivity, a boost in bandwidth consumption, and one of the most popular times for cybercriminals to attack your secure data.

Lost productivity can mean big bucks for your company, reducing employee output to a mere 60%2.  A survey by CareerBuilder states that more than half of the 4,000 respondents polled intend on shopping online while at work with one third of those planning for more than one hour each day, in addition to the two typical hours daily already reported by respondents (time excludes lunch hour and scheduled breaks).  If you do not have a Web-use policy or Internet Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) in place, one is necessary to help report, monitor, and prevent employee Internet abuse in addition to protecting your company from legal liability.

Downloading malware is another risk as employees use the Internet for personal reasons. Spyware and malicious code are big threats to company networks as they can consume bandwidth and compromise security.  Recent studies show that company networks are being infected with spyware and malicious code most often through employees surfing the Web; with the holidays increasing that risk, these threats make it imperative for companies to enforce an AUP to protect their networks. Wavecrest Computing suggests that companies monitor and/or filter employee Web use in order to better protect themselves from security threats. In addition to the inherent risks associated with hacking your online security – loss of company reputation, destruction of company data, and the downtime employees face while systems are restored – the costs to mitigate attacks are extraordinary and rising each year.  This year, U.S. companies are expected to spend more than triple the costs spent in 20063.

To ensure these threats do not happen to your company this holiday season, run through our checklist and remember to check it twice!

  • Install all applicable system and program updates to avoid malware from infiltrating any system frailty that could have easily been patched with an update.
  • Create a Web usage policy and clearly communicate it to your employees.
  • Be cautious prior to clicking on links to different websites particularly those found on social networking sites as they’re often a hotspot for malware.
  • Avoid the use of pirated / illegal software as many contain malware.
  • Never open email attachments from unknown senders and make sure to scan attachments you do decide to download.
  • Make steps to consistently back up your computer in the case that malware wipes your hard drive clean.
  • Monitor servers and security devices 24x7x365 for security issues and require preventative actions be taken on security threats in real time – this is where we come in!

CyBlock can be set up to block Web access by categories and by hour so employees can access shopping sites on their lunch break or after hours. This approach can help sustain morale while minimizing the risks associated with online shopping.  With Cyfin, you can monitor employees’ Web use to ensure that Web-use policies are followed or that unwanted spyware or malware is not downloaded as a result.  Let us guide you to a safer, more reliable, robust security solution with exceptional support at an unbeatable price!

Sources:

1https://blog.comscore.com/2011/11/cyber_monday_work_computers.html

2 https://www.wavecrest.net/editorial/costsavings.html

3https://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/technology/1107/gallery.cyber_security_costs/index.html?iid=EL

 

New Releases CyBlock and Cyfin Internet Monitoring Software

Friday, June 10th, 2011

We recently released newer versions of our CyBlock Proxy, Cyfin Reporter, CyBlock ISA and Cyfin Proxy software.  CyBlock Version 6.5.0 and Cyfin Version 8.5.0 are now available and include the following new features:

  • Dashboard Traffic Chart. A new trend chart to track allowed and denied hits traffic has been added to the Dashboard. This chart is available by going to the Dashboard and selecting Trend – Traffic.
  • Dashboard Metrics: Denied Visits and Denied Hits. Two new metric options have been added to the Dashboard Top and Trend charts. They are Denied Visits and Denied Hits. Denied Visits are failed attempts to access a Web site. For the most part this occurs because the user is not authorized to access the site, i.e., his access has been “blocked.” However, a “denied” indication can also be caused by technical anomalies, e.g., “page not found by server”, etc. Denied Hits are any type of viewable or usable data transmission that is triggered by a visit to a Web site and is denied or blocked. Denied hits can be in the form of a denied or blocked file, message, object, graphic, link, banner, ad, or push item.
  • New Option for Scheduled Deletion of Import Data. An option to delete data “older than 4 months” has been added to the Data Manager – Import Data – Delete – Schedule screen.
  • Pause/Restart Button on the Real-Time Web Monitor (CyBlock Proxy and Cyfin Proxy Only). A Pause/Restart button was added to the top of the real-time Web monitor screen. Clicking Pause will stop new results from being displayed. A new IP address column has also been added to the Web monitor. Now the Web monitor displays the ID, IP, Date/Time, Category Name and Web Page. Note: When Authentication is disabled, the ID column will not be displayed.

To see the full release notes for your product, visit the Support Forum. You can download the latest release by going to the Administration – Product Update screen in your CyBlock or Cyfin product.

Upgrade Today! New Releases for CyBlock and Cyfin

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

We’re thrilled to bring you more new features in our latest releases of CyBlock and Cyfin. In CyBlock Version 6.3.3 and Cyfin Version 8.3.3, we are happy to deliver you with the following:

  • Classification Policies. New classification policies can be created and saved for use in manual and scheduled reports. The policies can be created and selected from a new option on the Reports – Manual and Reports – Schedule screens. Two named classification policies are provided with this release: Default and No Classification. The default classifications policy is set at the Category Setup – Classify Categories screen, and no classification means that no classifications will appear in the report.
  • Dashboard Drill-down. Drill-down reporting has been added to the Dashboard Top Users and Top Categories charts. When clicking on a user from the Top Users chart, a User Audit Detail report will automatically run, and when clicking on a category from the Top Categories chart, a Category Audit report will automatically run.
  • Download Restore Points. The ability to download and save a restore point for product settings has been added. The restore points can be downloaded from the Administration – Restore – Download screen.
  • Email Notification When License Exceeded (CyBlock Only). If the number of filtered users exceeds what the product license allows, an email notification will be sent to the product’s administrator every three days.
  • Using Active Directory for Access Accounts. A “Lookup” link has been added to the Advanced Settings – Access Accounts screen. When using Active Directory authentication for access accounts, clicking this link will cause the full name and email address for the access account to be automatically populated from Active Directory.

To see the full release notes for your product, visit the Support Forum. You can download the latest release by going to the Administration – Product Update screen in your CyBlock or Cyfin product.

New Releases – CyBlock 6.2.2 and Cyfin 8.2.2

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

New WatchGuard and Websense Support in Cyfin Reporter 8.2.2

We have recently added support for the WatchGuard Log Server PostgreSQL database and Websense in Cyfin Reporter 8.2.2.  If you are interested in the added support for either of these logfile types, you can check out the simple configuration for each at the links below.

WatchGuard Configuration: https://www.wavecrest.net/products/cyfin/reporter/compatibility/watchguardPostgreSQL.html

Websense Configuration: https://www.wavecrest.net/products/cyfin/reporter/compatibility/websense.html

If you have any questions or would like additional help in the configuration process, please contact technical support. They will be happy to assist you.

Technical Support Contact Information
Direct: 321-953-5351, ext. 4
Toll-Free: 877-442-9346 ext. 4
Email:support@wavecrest.net

Cyfin Reporter supports over 95 other different log file formats, so if you need support for other log file formats, visit our Cyfin Reporter technical specifications page to see if we support them. If not, contact our technical support team, and we will be happy to see if support can be added.

Other New Enhancements

Other enhancements made to CyBlock Proxy, Cyfin Reporter, Cyfin Proxy and CyBlock ISA include:

  • URL Hyperlinks in Detail Audit Reports. URLs listed in Audit Detail reports are now hyperlinked if the following conditions are met: 1) the Data Manager is enabled, 2) Interactive is selected for the Report Type, and 3) the total number of URLs for a single report is less than 50,000 URLs. The reports with this functionality are User Audit Detail, Category Audit Detail and Site Audit Detail.
  • More Drill-Down Capability. On reports that contain Hourly Visits and Hourly Bandwidth tables (such as Site Analysis), you can now drill-down to the single hour of activity of your choosing.

New Releases: CyBlock 6.2.0 and Cyfin 8.2.0

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

New versions of CyBlock and Cyfin were recently released.  You can download the latest release by going to the Administration – Product Update screen. Below are a list of enhancements for each product.

CyBlock Proxy, Cyfin Proxy and CyBlock Appliance Enhancements

  • Proxy Server Authentication. New authentication options are now available on the Setup – Proxy screen.  Options include Strict, Moderate, and Disable (if disabled, IP addresses will be used).  The default setting is Moderate.  These options affect how bypass authentication is handled on the new Authentication Manager.
  • Authentication Manager. Complementing the new proxy server authentication options is the Authentication Manager. This screen allows the administrator to manage improperly authenticating URL/domains, web applications and user-agents. The Authentication Manager is located at Advanced Settings – Proxy Settings – Authentication Manager.
  • PAC File Configuration. This new screen allows for easy PAC file configuration that you can push out to all browsers. It is located at Advanced Settings – Proxy Settings – PAC File Configuration.
  • Product News. With this release, we have added the ability for administrators to get product news alerts via email.  This setting is found on the Administration – Product News – Setup page.  NOTE: The default setting is “Do not email.”

CyBlock ISA Enhancements & Updates

  • Forefront TMG Support. Support is now available for Microsoft Forefront TMG for both filtering and reporting.
  • Product News. With this release, we have added the ability for administrators to get product news alerts via email.  This setting is found on the Administration – Product News – Setup page.  NOTE: The default setting is “Do not email.”
  • ISA Server 2000 No Longer Supported. With this latest upgrade, there is no longer support for ISA Server 2000.

Cyfin Reporter Enhancements

  • New Logfile Support for the following:
    • Microsoft Forefront TMG Support
    • Watchguard Firebox 11 with Syslog
    • Astaro Security
  • Product News. With this release, we have added the ability for administrators to get product news alerts via email.  This setting is found on the Administration – Product News – Setup page.  NOTE: The default setting is “Do not email.”

Use the following links to access the full release notes for your Wavecrest product.

If you have any questions about any of the new features or upgrading, please contact Support.

Email: support@wavecrest.net
Phone (Toll-free): 877-442-9346, ext. 4 (U.S. and Canada)
Phone (Direct): 321-953-535, ext. 4

Enforce Safe Search in Google, Yahoo and Bing with CyBlock

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

If you haven’t already done so, check out the safe search feature in your CyBlock Proxy, CyBlock Appliance or CyBlock ISA product. With this feature, you can force Google, Yahoo and Bing to strictly use Safe Search. To enable it, go to the Advanced Settings – Filter Settings – Safe Search screen, check the enable box and hit Submit. When enabled, the product will reset search engines to “safe search” even if users change the preference in the search engine. This will block Web pages containing explicit sexual content from appearing in search results.

Note: Safe Search is available only in Versions 6.0.0 and later.

Blocking IM/Chat with Wavecrest’s CyBlock Products

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Our CyBlock Appliance offers the best coverage for blocking IM and Chat sites. The CyBlock Appliance can block the IM traffic as well as the sites to prevent the user from making a connection to the IM server.  To block IM with the CyBlock Appliance, first go to the Advanced Settings – Filter Settings – Block Web Protocols screen and check all the IM clients that you want to block.  Next, go to the Advanced Settings – Filter Settings – Block Web Categories screen and block the Chat category.  For even more coverage, you can also block the following URLs by placing them in a Custom Category or by adding them to the Chat category.

Yahoo IM: login.yahoo.com (Hardware and Software)

AOL IM: login.oscar.aol.com (Other Category)

MSN Messenger: login.live.com (Note: This site also is used for Hotmail login as well. So if you block the Hardware and Software category or this URL, you will block both MSN Messenger and Hotmail email).

To get the best filtering Chat/IM coverage with CyBlock Proxy or CyBlock ISA, block the Chat category and the sites listed above.

Wavecrest’s 13th Birthday

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

We’re Wavecrest Computing, a leading developer of Internet usage management products. Today is our thirteenth birthday. So we’re taking a moment to celebrate, look back, and reflect on some of our accomplishments over the years.

Since 1996, from our base in Melbourne, Florida, we have developed, marketed and supported a spectrum of innovative Internet monitoring and reporting solutions. Our products help all types of organizations manage their employees’ online activities and ensure compliance with acceptable use policies. Starting thirteen years ago with a single customer, our client base has grown to more than 3,000 organizations, many of them Fortune 500 companies and high profile government agencies.

We’re extremely proud of this. But it didn’t just ‘happen.’

The credit goes to an unusually talented and well-led team of development, sales and support people. They all work directly for Wavecrest; none are outsource or temporary employees. For years these dedicated men and women have made sure that we consistently deliver the products and services that our customers need to meet the many dynamic challenges associated with use of the Internet in the workplace.

And those challenges have certainly evolved over the years. Examples include the very real and seriously increasing risks of productivity losses, bandwidth drains, legal liability, and network security threats. And as the Internet grew and the challenges escalated, we have kept pace every step of the way.

Our first product— a basic software application called ProxyReporter—read and analyzed employers’ outbound Web logs. From that data, it then produced reports that helped management and IT monitor employees’ use of Web access.

Then, as the Internet became more sophisticated, we went on to develop a series of increasingly robust Web-use monitoring and filtering products designed to suit a variety of customers and network infrastructures. Our monitoring products now include Cyfin Reporter—a highly sophisticated and scalable logfile analyzer/reporter—and Cyfin Proxy, a standalone Web proxy/monitor/reporter. Our combination filtering/reporting products include CyBlock for ISA—a combination filter/reporter system for use with Microsoft ISA products—and CyBlock Proxy, a standalone proxy/filter/reporting solution.

Our latest innovation is CyBlock Appliance, a hardware based Internet-usage management device. Designed to monitor and help control use of all Internet protocols, CyBlock Appliance is a standalone proxy, monitor, filter and reporter.

Of particular interest, in recent years, we have upgraded all of these products to deal with emerging issues associated with a variety of Web 2.0 advances such as social networking. At the same time we have been busy incorporating new features such as protocol filtering and trend reporting.

Through the years our products have been well received and proven to be highly reliable and cost-effective, and we back them all with a 90-day money-back guarantee.

As proud as we are of our products, we take equal pride in our support services. When customers call, they talk to a real person—here in America—and they get personalized attention. Our support personnel, all of whom have been with us for years, know that customer satisfaction is key to the company’s (and their own) success. And as a result of their responsiveness and professionalism, they have received literally hundreds of kudos and compliments over the years.

So, in sum, we have much to celebrate and be proud of.

Happy Birthday, Wavecrest!