It is holiday shopping time again! Cyber Monday is now more like Cyber Month!

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we all know what is coming–Cyber Monday–the big day (now it is more like a month!) for personal employee Web use! More than ever before, businesses are open to employee use of the company Internet for personal use such as snagging some holiday deals. But what does this really mean for daily business operations? That depends.

There are definitely cyber risks associated with the season of shopping–malicious ads, phishing e-mails with malicious Web links, and slow bandwidth, to name a few. Paying attention to your employees’ Web usage is crucial. It is up to you whether you allow shopping on your network. If you do, there are steps you should take to manage this naturally vulnerable human endpoint.

  • Filter
    • Filtering allows you to reduce risks from malicious URLs in ads, phishing, etc. . . . employees are your weakest link. Train them continuously but also make sure there is a Web filtering solution in place to allow you to manage the Web use the way you see fit.
  • Manage Bandwidth Usage
    • This time of year employees may be doing things such as watching a video review of the latest in tech toys for their kids. Make sure your mission-critical operations are not affected. Configuring bandwidth limits by user-defined thresholds and setting trigger alerts will help you make sure you don’t have unnecessary bandwidth hogs slowing your business down.
  • Monitor Web use
    • Visibility means everything. With the right monitoring solution, you can easily analyze employee Web-usage trends, make sure your Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is being followed, and get actionable, relevant detail when you need it.

These are only a few of the things that you can do to help reduce the risks associated with employee Web use all year long. Remember that human vulnerabilities are a leading cause of most network breaches. Focus on the human endpoint. Take the time to keep training employees, enforcing your AUP, monitoring, analyzing, and filtering.

At this time of year, you can feel good about allowing your employees some freedom to research or snag some holiday gift deals. Have a comprehensive employee Web filtering and monitoring solution in place, and enjoy your holidays even more knowing you are proactively managing employee Web activity!

About Wavecrest

Wavecrest has over 20 years of proven history of providing reliable, accurate Web-use management and Advanced Log File Analyzer products across various industries. Managed Service Providers, IT specialists, HR professionals, Forensics Investigators, and business managers trust Wavecrest’s Cyfin and CyBlock products to manage the human factor in business Internet usage — managing cloud services, reducing liability risks, improving productivity, saving bandwidth, and controlling costs. Trusted by large government and commercial organizations such as US-CERT Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Justice, USPS Office of Inspector General, National Grid, Johns Hopkins, and a growing list of global enterprises and government agencies. We are a proud long-term GSA contract holder. For more information on the company, products, and partners, visit https://www.wavecrest.net.

Are you leaving your small business Web-use security door open?

Monday, May 15th, 2017

 

There is so much to be concerned with when running a small business. Economic uncertainty, the cost of health insurance benefits, regulatory burdens, keeping mission-critical operations running–all add up to a stressful experience. Now security concerns include more than just locking the doors; it means everything digital too. And the risks? With ransomware, phishing, insider threats, unsanctioned cloud apps, BYOD . . . lets just say, the Internet usage risks are probably even higher than the front door being left open . . . wide open.

Many small and midsized businesses (SMBs) are without full-time IT departments or even full-time IT personnel, making them a prime target for breaches. But SMBs tend to think they don’t have the resources to handle this type of security, whether it be the financial consideration, personnel needed, or when hardware is preferred, limited space constraints. Since hackers know this, SMBs have to be proactive when it comes to Web-use security–nowadays, even more so than corporations.

The connection between the human and the Internet is a weak link, making it one of the leading access points into a system for a hacker. Whether it’s from the employee clicking a Web link in an e-mail, clicking a malicious ad, or sharing company information with a cloud service, make sure to protect the business by managing that employee-Internet connection. Find a solution that allows you to easily and proactively monitor and secure your employees’ Web activity. Your business is unique–finding a way to solve these issues and concerns will take a unique solution.

A few tips for your Web-use security solution search:

  1. Find a vendor who will spend the time with you. The cyber world has its own language. It’s important to have a human being on the other end of the phone during the sales process, in customer service, and when you need technical support . . . yup, they still have human beings in technical support . . . go figure! Get with a company who wants to talk to you!
  2. Of course, it doesn’t help if that vendor doesn’t have what you need so make sure you list the top security priorities for your business. Do you want to filter access to certain Web sites or categories such as social media, or do you want to limit time that an employee may spend on one site? Are you are more concerned with your guest Wi-Fi and BYOD or throttling bandwidth use? Don’t get sold on something that doesn’t meet at least your primary concerns. One solution does not always fit all . . . in today’s cybersecurity world you need to focus on your specific business concerns. Just because an expensive, large scale, all-in-one network security solution or firewall has a Web-use add-on tool does not mean it will give you the pertinent, granular detail and control that you need to protect your mission-critical operations.
  3. Ask questions. The vendor should understand that you excel at what you do, not what they do. Don’t be intimidated by the security subject. Even those of us in this business spend a lot of time keeping up with the fast pace of cybersecurity. No question is unnecessary. If you think about it, then it is important to you and should be to the vendor too. Refer to Tip #1!
  4. Last tip for today . . . solutions come in many shapes and sizes. Don’t settle for something that doesn’t fit your business. Your business is special and unique. Your solution should fit and work in your environment without you constantly having to justify it and make it fit in.

Wavecrest can, and wants to, help you–with CyBlock Mini Appliance, specially designed for small businesses, remote offices, and limited space environments.

CyBlock Mini Appliance is an employee Internet-use security hardware solution that is not only the size of a wireless hub but is also economically priced. You gain an easy-to-setup, turnkey Web activity gateway with advanced filtering and monitoring capability, manual or automatic delivery of detailed, interactive reports, real-time monitoring by user, group, or category, the ability to easily manage BYOD, guest Wi-Fi networks, cloud services, and bandwidth use–all with included U.S.-based Technical Support.

Wavecrest also provides CyBlock Web security solutions in other shapes and sizes! Find out more about our other CyBlock deployments: Appliance, Hybrid, Cloud, and Software. As a customer-centric company, Wavecrest focuses on the needs of each customer. Let us help secure your business with a solution that fits every business size, type, and configuration.

About Wavecrest

Trusted for over 20 years, Wavecrest Computing, headquartered in historic downtown Melbourne, FL, has provided commercial business and government clients with reliable, accurate Web-use management and Cloud Access Security Broker products since 1996. Managed Service Providers, IT specialists, HR professionals, and business managers trust Wavecrest’s Cyfin and CyBlock products to manage employee Internet usage — managing cloud services, reducing liability risks, improving productivity, saving bandwidth, and controlling costs. Wavecrest has clients worldwide, including General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Florida Department of Health, Siemens, Department of Homeland Security, and a growing list of global enterprises and government agencies. We are a proud long-term GSA contract holder. For more information on the company, products, and partners, visit https://www.wavecrest.net.

Are your employees full of March Madness? They will be!

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

March Madness always produces a high level of anticipation and excitement. It ranks up there with the Super Bowl and the World Cup for many people. So fans want to make sure they see the games that for every year, the amount of series streaming surpasses expectations. We can all watch them on our phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops at any time and anywhere. Because of this, many managers now allow for some freedom during this time, so their employees can get their yearly March Madness fix. But there are risks to the business to always consider.

Some March Madness 2016 statistics from NCAA to consider:

  • With 18.1 million live hours, the tournament generated more video consumption than any other tournament.
  • The national championship game generated 56 million impressions across March Madness social media accounts, up 112 percent over 2015.
  • Video consumption for social media was also up with 8 million views overall, more than five times the volume of video for last year’s championship game.

Is your business ready?

The first thing that pops into a manager’s mind is increased bandwidth use. It is an important thing to consider for sure since your business has mission-critical functions that have to run for your business to operate efficiently, even during increased Internet use. Making sure you can control and monitor bandwidth use by throttling nonessential traffic if needed, is critical to making the decision to allow streaming during any time, but especially during events like March Madness.

The things that may not immediately come to a manager’s mind may be the increase in malicious links generated during times of special events. In a world with cyber threats, such as ransomware, a business cannot ignore times when this risk increases. March Madness is a time when many keep track of all the games, not just their one team. They follow the process through the whole series and enjoy the competitive nature right down to the Final Four and beyond. They may be more prone to fall for a March Madness ad link for a stat update or phishing e-mail to check the latest game highlights. During the whole series and even before it starts, educating your employees about the increase in cyber threats, such as malicious Web sites and ads, and phishing e-mails, is important. Security solutions that offer features like white/black listing and filtering will allow you to maintain Web-use protection against the human tendency to click without analyzing if the link or e-mail makes sense.

Don’t just lock up employee Web-use. Protect your business and employees from threats, such as bandwidth hogs, malicious Web links, legal liabilities, and even productivity losses. Gain the control and security needed . . . and once again, let the games begin!

About Wavecrest Computing

Trusted for over 20 years, Wavecrest Computing, headquartered in historic downtown Melbourne, FL, has provided commercial business and government clients with reliable, accurate Web-use management and Cloud Access Security Broker products since 1996. Managed Service Providers, IT specialists, HR professionals, and business managers trust Wavecrest’s Cyfin and CyBlock products to manage employee Internet usage — managing cloud services, reducing liability risks, improving productivity, saving bandwidth, and controlling costs. Wavecrest has clients worldwide, including General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Florida Department of Health, Siemens, Department of Homeland Security, and a growing list of global enterprises and government agencies. We are a proud long-term GSA contract holder. For more information on the company, products, and partners, visit https://www.wavecrest.net.

Prioritize network traffic and increase network QoS with CyBlock Bandwidth Management.

Friday, May 8th, 2015

In the current Internet-connected enterprise, constant and rapid changes require IT to have proactive control over the organization’s bandwidth. Many organizations now allow the use of tools such as DropBox, social media, and streaming, as well as BYOD use for, and during, business operations. The idea is to use these tools for business productivity. But then combine this with any personal use of these tools, or other services, and you have a bandwidth drain on the company network. For an IT administrator, this holds many more challenges in how to make sure priorities are set for bandwidth. With CyBlock’s Bandwidth Management feature, we can help you battle bandwidth hogs, improving your network QoS and keeping your mission-critical operations running smoothly!

Learn more: https://www.wavecrest.net/products/cyblock/sa/include/BandwidthManagement.pdf

realtimebandwidthmonitor

Into the Madness of March…brackets, bandwidth, malware, and all.

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

BracketMarch Madness begins on March 17th this year. We all know that employees check out highlights or even stream a whole game. According to Turner Sports’ Will Funk’s interview with AdWeek,Turner did 70 million live streams on broadband and mobile during March Madness 2014. That is a lot of streaming. With all the streaming and new apps that are out since last year, 2015 will likely set another record.

This year, have the choice to allow your employees some freedom to watch and enjoy! CyBlock Web Security Solutions will help protect your business, blocking sites known for malware and proactively controlling bandwidth consumption, while allowing responsible viewing.

With Wavecrest’s Bandwidth Management in CyBlock, there are numerous ways to be able to control access when you need to. With Real-Time Data Usage Monitoring, you will be able to easily view current data usage for the entire enterprise, detect unexpected spikes that could indicate excessive data use, or just observe the last 5, 10, or 15 minutes of real-time updates.

You can also make sure the critical business operations remain functioning efficiently, even during the games, by using the Bandwidth Throttling features. Be more restrictive as the noncritical usage gets higher by setting one of the automatically triggered, higher-usage policy thresholds to throttle more or even block. E-mail alerts will keep you informed wherever you are. Once a policy is activated, policy-specific traffic is throttled or blocked, allowing business-critical applications (VoIP, CRM, etc.) to continue operating as needed.

Don’t forget about protecting your company from malware. March Madness search results have had a history of being known for malware in past years, and this year will likely be no different. As your employees search for brackets or results, CyBlock blocks traffic to the constantly growing number of sites that generate and/or promote malware. Keep out viruses, Trojan horses, phishing attacks, and more.

March Madness has become a way of life. Decide how your company will handle the traffic and proactively prepare for it by letting CyBlock help protect and secure your business and your employees. Find out more about all the Web Security product lines at Wavecrest Computing.

 

Keep Mission-Critical Applications Running Smoothly

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

bandwdithKeep mission-critical applications running smoothly with Bandwidth Management in CyBlock Cloud, including Wavecrest’s exclusive Web content category level throttling or blocking capability.

Even with corporate Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs), the majority of an organization’s Web traffic is often operating unchecked, opening the entire network up to bandwidth hogs, productivity-draining activity, and security risks. With Bandwidth Management in CyBlock Cloud, easily create user-defined policies and configure multiple-usage thresholds to dynamically trigger caps.

As a business that understands the necessity, or just desirability, of employees’ access to the Internet, do you worry about when there is too much nonessential Web activity? Maybe Facebook or Pandora is clogging your bandwidth? Wavecrest has the solution that can help specifically target and throttle Web content category-based traffic, such as social networking or audio streaming. With Bandwidth Management in CyBlock, gain the ability to allow access, but be more restrictive as the usage gets higher by setting one of your higher usage thresholds to throttle more or completely block nonessential categories or user groups.  Set e-mail alerts to keep you informed wherever you are, knowing that your defined policies are automatically triggered and proactively taking care of the issue. Once a policy is activated, policy-specific traffic is throttled or blocked, allowing business-critical applications (VoIP, CRM, etc.) to continue operating as needed.

Now including Bandwidth Management, CyBlock Cloud provides comprehensive Web controls, threat protection, reporting, simplified management, and more — all in a deployment requiring no hardware or software to buy and install, and no maintenance.

 

Wavecrest has a solution for virtually every configuration. Learn more:https://www.wavecrest.net/

 

CyBlock/Cyfin Release 9.1.4 Now Available

Friday, January 30th, 2015

In Release 9.1.4, we are excited to provide our CyBlock Cloud customers with our Bandwidth Management feature that enables IT administrators to throttle bandwidth at the Web content category level. This feature targets noncritical Web traffic and keeps your mission-critical Web traffic flowing. The release also includes the addition of the Site Audit Summary report as well as many enhancements to CyBlock App for iOS. The enhancements are highlighted below.

  • Bandwidth Management in CyBlock Cloud. The following features have been added:
    • The Throttling Policy Configuration page allows you to implement a restriction policy when enterprise bandwidth consumption exceeds a preestablished threshold.
      • You can create, edit, and delete policies based on categories or groups.
      • When exceeded, your user-defined thresholds activate your policies and trigger alerts.
      • Cap limits can be added to throttle bandwidth for noncritical categories or groups. They can also be used to block nonessential categories when a threshold is exceeded.
    • The Real-Time Bandwidth Monitor page provides current bandwidth usage data for the enterprise. When a bandwidth throttling policy is activated, an alert with the policy name and its associated threshold will be shown.
    • An e-mail notification will automatically be sent to the administrator for each bandwidth throttling policy activated.
  • Site Audit Summary. This report lists the top users in your organization who visited a particular site. The report can be run for more than one site and shows the total number of visits made by the user, hourly total visits, and hourly total kilobytes read.
  • CyBlock App for iOS. The following features have been added:
    • The App is now compatible with iOS 8 and works with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
    • The user interface has been updated to match the iOS 8 UI for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
    • The Web blocking message and blocked extension messages have been added to the App.
    • The ability to perform a search from the search bar has been added. The App will use Google to search for the text that you enter.

There are also corrections in this release for CyBlock as well as Cyfin. To see the full release notes for your product, visit our Web site or knowledge base.

If you are at version 9.0.5 or later, you can upgrade to the latest release by going to the Help – Check for Updates screen in your product.

If you are at version 6.8.3.a or earlier, you can download the latest release by going to CyBlock Software Downloads or Cyfin Downloads. To upgrade CyBlock Appliance, please contact Technical Support at (321) 953-5351, Ext. 4 or support@wavecrest.net.

For additional assistance, please feel free to contact us.

Managing Bandwidth to Cut Unnecessary Costs

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

save bandwidth, save money

Inappropriate Web use resulting in excessive bandwidth consumption is often the primary culprit behind network issues. Typically, the worst offenders are social networking, video and music streaming, gaming sites, and browser-based file sharing. These are all widely accepted applications for use on corporate networks but the majority of them are often operating unchecked, opening your entire network up to bandwidth hogs, productivity-draining activity, and security risks.

There are multiple policies you can implement to monitor your bandwidth, so which one is right for your business? Pay attention to patterns: How much of your company’s bandwidth is being consumed by non-productive Web use? Who were the top users of bandwidth on your company’s network? Both questions seem easy enough to answer, but this data is oftentimes scattered around your network, especially if you have multiple data centers. Without easy access to these insights, many companies are simply unaware of possible lost revenue due to bandwidth congestion. Fortunately, Wavecrest Computing’s CyBlock Proxy solution now offers bandwidth management in addition to the Web filtering and reporting tools favored by many.

From within our solution, you can easily create multiple ‘category-control’ or ‘group-control’ policies that can be activated when usage reaches specified thresholds of consumption. Typically, customers set these thresholds at points that reflect how closely they want actual consumption to approach total available bandwidth before imposing restrictions. Once a policy is activated, policy-specified traffic is throttled one or more degrees of restriction on lower priority Web applications, allowing business-critical applications (VoIP, CRM, etc) to continue operating as needed.

While most other solutions base their throttling process on overall traffic volume rather than on the contents of the Internet packets, CyBlock Proxy breaks the traffic down into content categories and bases its controls on those categories rather than just volume. Alternatively, throttling can be imposed on selected users or groups, regardless of the content they’re seeking. The general concept is to synergistically combine your organization’s particular Internet and bandwidth usage policies with CyBlock Proxy’s customizable bandwidth throttling technology. Before you consider paying for more bandwidth, first leverage CyBlock Proxy’s built-in bandwidth management functionality (at no additional cost) by throttling the top non-critical bandwidth users. This feature has already provided businesses with the insight needed to most efficiently manage and utilize their Web traffic.