Wait Until You Hear How Many Hours a Day an EPA Official Confessed to Watching Porn at Work

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Bad-Press-PublicityIn today’s world, many if not most employees have access to the Web at work. For the most part, that’s a good thing, and in some cases essential.  Unfortunately, that same access has a dark side. That’s because certain workers will inevitably visit illicit or risky Web sites, and such visits can expose the organization to serious legal liability.  The most troublesome sites are those devoted to pornography.  Sites devoted to gambling, illegal drugs, hate speech and criminal activity can also create legal issues, albeit to a lesser extent.  In addition to exposing the organization to legal liability, visits to inappropriate sites cause other serious issues such as lost productivity and wasted bandwidth.

To read the full article about the EPA official click here.

 

For more information about Wavecrest’s product offerings.

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CyBlock Cloud Removes Security Blind Spots

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

 

CyBlock HTTPs Inspection

CyBlock HTTPs Inspection

Wavecrest Computing announces that SSL Inspection is now available in CyBlock Cloud. The SSL (HTTPS) Inspection feature allows CyBlock Cloud to decrypt, analyze, and fully inspect all HTTPS traffic. In order to defeat security threats facing companies today, the capability of SSL Inspection is becoming critical. With the rise in use of HTTPS and with applications (such as Twitter and Facebook) and search engines enabling SSL by default, most enterprises should expect an average yearly increase of ~20% in SSL traffic. The increased use of SSL can create “blind spots” that can actually reduce security on corporate networks because network security products and other defenses may not be able to monitor SSL traffic effectively or efficiently.

Surveys show 25%-35% of enterprise traffic is SSL-encrypted, and the number can be as high as 70% in specific industries. CyBlock Cloud’s SSL inspection feature enables organizations to gain visibility and control of SSL communications. It provides a critical control point for protection against Web threats, enforcing acceptable use policies and performance. Users can seamlessly enforce usage policies on both unsecured and secure traffic. Users can also choose what traffic to inspect or “tunnel” base on their specific security policies.

SSL traffic is growing into a significant amount of corporate traffic. This creates major blind spots for IT. CyBlock Cloud removes these blind spot, enabling organizations to establish a critical control point for Web protection, policy enforcement and performance of users and Web applications using SSL.

CyBlock Web Security Solution is now available in the Cloud

Monday, December 9th, 2013

 Melbourne, FL, Dec. 9, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Wavecrest Computing, the makers of CyBlock, have just announced the availability of a Cloud version of CyBlock. Now companies have access to the most popular and solid Web Security solution in the Cloud.

CyBlock Cloud Web Security is an easy-to-implement solution that benefits organizations of all sizes and quickly safeguards your network. Whether you have branch offices, remote users, or just one location, CyBlock Cloud protects your company and its employees allowing you to take advantage of time and money savings. Enforce your company’s AUP by defining one or more Web-use policies to successfully address Internet abuse, legal liability, workforce productivity, and Web security threats.

“We are very excited to be extending our product line into the Cloud market. Now, new and existing customers who are considering a cloud solution have one less worry. Starting today they can access an industry tested and proven solution with a successful 13 year track record. CyBlock Cloud is a perfect addition to Wavecrest’s line of industry leading Web Security Solutions.” CEO – Dennis McCabe

Wavecrest Computing has been the recognized leader in Web-access security and Web-usage forensics solutions for the last 16 years. Our scalable filtering and forensic reporting analysis products are designed to enable organizations to successfully address Internet abuse, legal liability, workforce productivity, and Web security threats. Wavecrest Computing’s client list includes well-known corporations such as Edward Jones, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Blue Cross Blue Shield, MillerCoors, Rolex, Siemens, and others.

Link to Press Release.

Analyze Your Encrypted Traffic With CyBlock SSL Inspection

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

In huge numbers, more and more organizations, particularly e-businesses, are using Web-enabled applications that involve the use of personal, private, and sensitive data. Banking, online shopping, and credit card transactions are good examples, but by no means the only ones. SSL encryption is being increasingly used to protect the confidentiality of this business and personal data on the Web. Surveys show 25%-35% of enterprise traffic is SSL-encrypted, and the number can be as high as 70% in specific industries. SSL encryption is the most cost-effective way of protecting the privacy of this traffic.

While SSL encryption solves many privacy-protection problems, it can allow traffic that poses security threats–both inbound and outbound–to pass through security protection measures uninspected and unchecked.

Inbound Problem.  SSL encryption creates security blind spots in incoming traffic. The traditional security infrastructure that protects an organization is blind to the threats in inbound SSL traffic and provides an easy vehicle for criminals and hackers to hide their cyber attacks.

Outbound Problem.  In addition to the risks of incoming threats hiding over SSL channels bypassing security protections, outbound enterprise traffic is now a growing problem. This is becoming quite a “hot button” for security applications (e.g., content filtering applications) that tackle data loss prevention (DLP), compliance reporting, and lawful intercept. In the past these solutions could see what was outgoing, but now they are suddenly “in the dark” when it comes to the data transferred over SSL.

From a security standpoint, most organizations already deploy an array of network and security appliances and programs to protect their enterprise, enforce internal corporate acceptable use policies, and satisfy external government regulation. Unfortunately, in many instances, they can only inspect plaintext traffic and are unable to inspect HTTPS communications for attack signatures. This makes it difficult or impossible for network administrators to enforce corporate acceptable use policies or ensure threats, such as viruses, spam, and malware, are stopped before they reach individual users.

In addition, without the ability to examine the contents of HTTPS communications, network administrators leave open the possibility for information to be accidentally leaked out of the enterprise or worse, stolen. Regulatory compliance requirements, including identifying accidental or intentional leakage of confidential information, are also virtually impossible to meet because of HTTPS encryption.

CyBlock SSL Inspection gives network administrators the ability to monitor this SSL-encrypted traffic and to identify and respond to any undesirable content. The total HTTPS inspection process decrypts, analyzes, categorizes, and then re-encrypts the traffic. If necessary, specific standard and/or custom URL categories can be exempted from the inspection process; this is known as “tunneling.” In addition, full URL information in a number of Wavecrest audit reports is available to network administrators.

To learn more about how CyBlock SSL Inspection can protect your sensitive data, please see our SSL Inspection Tech Brief or contact Technical Support at (321) 953-5351, Ext. 4 or support@wavecrest.net.

Source:  Examining SSL-Encrypted Communications – Netronome

Enhanced Malware Protection

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Wavecrest Computing is pleased to announce an enhancement that delivers a tenfold increase in CyBlock’s ability to protect computer networks from malware and Cyfin’s ability to identify increasing security threats. Here is some background information.

Malware is the scourge of the Internet. The term “malware” includes computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, adware, and other malicious programs that can disrupt computer operations, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. For Wavecrest’s purposes, malware also includes Web sites that support hacking. Most malware originates and is spread from particular Web sites. Unfortunately, many thousands of such sites exist today, and to make matters worse, the number is growing steadily every day at distressingly fast rates.

The malware problem is not new to Wavecrest. For a number of years, companies have been using CyBlock and Cyfin products to protect against and identify automated invasions of malicious scripts and software, and unauthorized access to their internal networks–the two major problems caused by malware. CyBlock provided protection–under customer control–by blocking and reporting on employees’ attempts to visit sites in 3 of more than 70 URL List categories: Hacking, Phishing/Fraud, and Spyware/Malicious.

While this methodology was effective, it was not perfect. The difficulty lay in keeping the URL List up to date in the face of the relentless and rapid increase in the number of malware-spreading sites. This issue has been addressed with an enhancement that significantly improves the ability to keep the list current.

At the same time, three related categories, Hacking, Phishing/Fraud, and Spyware/Malicious, have been consolidated into one called Malware. This consolidation increases the ease of administration for customers.

This enhancement with its improved URL List is included in the latest release of CyBlock v.6.8.0 and Cyfin v.8.8.0. To realize its benefits as soon as possible, it is recommended that you upgrade your CyBlock or Cyfin product as soon as you can. Wavecrest will continue to update the enhanced list daily and make it available for download by customers. The download process remains unchanged.

You can schedule the list to be downloaded automatically every day, or you can download it manually at any time. In any case, as soon as it is downloaded, you will immediately begin to receive the added protection and see a significant reduction in the number of security threats to which you may be exposed.

To download the latest release, go to the Administration – Product Update screen in your CyBlock or Cyfin product. For additional assistance, please contact Technical Support at (321) 953-5351, Ext. 4 or support@wavecrest.net.

What employers need to know about online holiday shopping

Monday, November 19th, 2012

It’s that time of year again. Christmas is coming, and it’s time to find the best deals and research the best products. And where does everyone go these days to find the deals and do their product research?  You guessed it. The Internet.  Should employers be concerned with this? Absolutely!  Online shopping results in significant productivity losses, excessive bandwidth usage and serious threats to cybersecurity.

Lost productivity can mean big bucks for your company. A recent study by Comscore found that 50% of all online holiday purchases occur during working hours. For the companies in the study, the typical productivity loss during the short holiday season averages $15,000.

Adding insult to injury, the additional traffic will lead to network slowdowns due to significant increases in bandwidth usage. Just as they did in previous years, online retailers are now preparing bandwidth-hogging promotional videos to help sell their products. Remember last year?  On Cyber Monday 2011, video views increased by 897 percent over the previous year. And now the number of views this coming Cyber Monday are expected to exceed last year’s. So, it is critical to prevent vital bandwidth from being consumed by non-productive Web-use.

Contributing to the danger, hackers and identity thieves are very aware of these online shopping patterns. They are fully prepared to deceive online holiday shoppers with very appealing schemes – “deals” that require them to click a link to special discount or filling in personal information before they can get the deal. These acts can lead to malware infection or pose significant risks to your organization’s network and sensitive data.

The peak period for all these holiday-related problems is coming soon. The Comscore study tells us that 80% of all annual online purchases occur between Nov 26th (CyBer Monday) and Dec 14th.  So now is a good time to remind your employees of your organization’s Web-use policy and make sure you have the right protections in place.

Dennis McCabe, President of Wavecrest Computing, recommends that companies monitor and/or filter employee Web-use to better protect themselves from lost productivity, excessive bandwidth usage and security threats. His company is ready to help them do this.  Easy to use and priced to fit any budget, Wavecrest products are tailored to address all aspects of Web-use management reliably and cost-effectively.

About Wavecrest

Since 1996, Wavecrest Computing has developed, marketed, and supported a spectrum of innovative Internet usage monitoring, analysis, filtering, and reporting solutions. Their products help all types of organizations manage employees’ online activities, ensure compliance with acceptable use policies, preclude legal liability and prevent bandwidth abuse. Founded 15 years ago, their client base has grown to more than 3,000 organizations, including many prominent Fortune 500 companies and high-profile government agencies.

Monitoring Internet Usage … From the IT Department

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

During July, August, and September of 2011, Commtouch assessed categories of Web sites most likely to be home to malware, below are the top ranking offenders.  The Portals category includes those sites offering free hosting which are often abused to publish malware and phishing content or will redirect to sites with this content.

What were the most-visited categories by your employees during 2011?

Are you currently monitoring and/or blocking the existing Spyware/Malicious, Phishing/Fraud, Public Proxy, and Hacking categories to help protect your network?

Source: Commtouch

In today’s wired workplace, internet security and bandwidth consumption are top concerns for IT professionals while employee productivity and legal liability ail management and HR professionals.  As a major contributor to the Web-use management effort, IT typically becomes deeply involved in planning, testing, selecting, installing, and administering Internet monitoring software.  With the different departments playing a role in deciding on the best product to fit their vast needs, most are left without a solution.  Fortunately, Wavecrest’s products have been reviewed by our customers as meeting each role’s needs most effectively, offering manager-ready, easy-to-interpret reports that can be accessed without the IT personnel in addition to providing a robust, truly scalable IT-friendly remedy.

With Wavecrest Computing, customers have the insight needed to proactively monitor / block the notorious malicious sites based on custom categories, the Wavecrest Control List, and a real-time deep packet analysis process.  Plus, our 19 comprehensive templates provide a variety of summarized and detailed Web-use activity reports on users, groups, categories, sites, acceptability ratings, and bandwidth consumption.  Conveniently import your current Web Use Policy to easily customize or classify categories, implement abuse thresholding, and monitor employee productivity while our Administrator and Operator Accounts allow for non-IT personnel to create and obtain their role-specific reports.

While serving a diverse mixture of commercial businesses, industrial firms, government agencies, military units, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations since 1996, our products continue to present the most up-to-date, proactive coverage in line with the one factor that underlies all Web-use management issues, human online activity. Wavecrest’s managers and developers understand human resource management well and we use that knowledge to develop features that prevent productivity losses, legal liability problems, network issues, and unnecessary costs.

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:

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

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

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

 

Explanation of the “IP Address” Category in Wavecrest Products

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Unfortunately, some instances of Web-use activity cannot be readily identified or categorized by Web access management products.  One type appears in the Wavecrest products’ Web Monitor and employee internet usage reports simply as IP addresses with no domain.

If the IP address is not recognized by our product it is put into IP address category and not into “Other” for the below reasons  (While some IP addresses have been identified and categorized in the Wavecrest URL control list, many have not.) If the product does not recognize the IP Address, it initially assigns them – in parallel to two special categories: (a) the IP Address category, and (b) the “Other” (uncategorized) category. This ‘groups’ them so they can be dealt with, as follows.

Using IP Addresses to Help Analyze Web Activity. At first glance it may appear impossible to make use of these initially unidentified IP addresses, but that’s not really the case. With a bit of work, it’s possible to:

  • Deduce the source and purpose of most of them
  • Categorize the legitimate ones
  • Isolate/neutralize the malicious ones

Let’s see how this is done.

First though, for purposes of this discussion, let’s ‘label’ the four general types of unidentified IP addresses. We’ll call them:

  • ‘Internal and partner Web pages without domain names’
  • ‘Innocent links on Web sites’
  • ‘Possible malware or virus servers.’
  • ‘Public proxies’

Identification and Corrective Action Process. This is a three step process: (a) listing the IP addresses; (b) classifying them by the types defined above; and (c) taking appropriate action.

To take the first step, simply run a Top Non-Categorized Sites Report and note the rows with IP addresses.  Then, as explained below, classify each (by type) and take action.

  1. IP Addresses Associated with Internal and Partner Web Pages.  These IP addresses could result from user-generated or Web application traffic. Using local knowledge, determine the sources and then enter the addresses in one or more custom categories. If you wish, give the addresses recognizable names. Complete instructions on how to create custom categories can be found in our manual.
  2. IP Addresses Associated with Innocent links on Web sites. These addresses could be associated with image or ad servers. If you send a Otherwise report that contains these IPs to Wavecrest our categorization team will research and categorize these IPs for you  the same way we would categorize domains. If you would like to identify them yourself there are IP Address lookup tools like the one available from http://www.networksolutions.com This tool will provide you with information about the owner of the IP address(es) of interest. For example, the owner of the IP address could be a marketing company that serves ads, or it could be an image server. Once identified, add the addresses to one or more custom categories. If you wish, give the addresses recognizable names.
  3. IP Addresses Associated with Possible Malware or Virus Servers. These addresses could be associated with malware, spyware or virus servers. The clue here is very high around-the-clock traffic (an indication that the user’s computer has been infected or attacked).  The solution in these cases is to isolate the internal computer(s) and remove the malware/spyware or virus.
  4. Public proxies. Also known as “Anonymous proxies”, public proxies are often used by employees or students who want to get around Web filters and/or avoid being identified by Internet logging. In other words, public proxies allow individuals to surf the Web “anonymously.” Many public proxies promote spyware or malware activity. They are created to gather user information, or even worse, company information on an employee’s computer. They often log an individual’s online browsing, emails, and chat sessions to gather user names, passwords, credit card or banking information. Some of the information gained, e.g., email addresses, is often used to sell to other companies for marketing purposes.

For more information, read our post: The danger of public proxies.

Wavecrest Recommends Users Upgrade from Internet Explorer 6

Friday, March 18th, 2011

If you are still using Internet Explorer 6, we and Microsoft recommend that you upgrade as soon as possible.  One of the main reasons to upgrade is that Wavecrest’s CyBlock versions 6.3.0 and later and Cyfin versions 8.3.0 and later no longer support IE6.

Microsoft also has a big push now to get users to upgrade and stop using IE6.  See their new website ie6countdown.com. One of the main reasons they are pushing the upgrade is security. They state, “we recommend that Internet Explorer 6 users upgrade to a newer version of Internet Explorer for a safer browsing experience.” So if you haven’t done so already, Wavecrest recommends that you take a minute to make sure all of the computers and servers in your network are upgraded to a later version of Internet Explorer.

If you have any questions, please contact Wavecrest’s technical support team by phone at 321-953-5351, ext. 4 or toll-free at 1-877-442-9346, ext. 4.

Sources:

The Internet Explorer 6 Countdown
Microsoft Begs Users to Stop Using IE6
It’s Time to Finally Drop Internet Explorer 6