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.

Another exciting new enhancement from Wavecrest…Cyfin Automatic Log File Detection!

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Wavecrest Computing is excited to announce a new enhancement to our Cyfin Log File Analyzer Solution, Automatic Log File Detection. This enhancement allows for the easy setup and import of log files by automatically analyzing and matching the closest suitable log file types. You no longer have to worry about making sure you select the correct log file type manually before importing. All you have to do is locate your log file and select. Cyfin Automatic Log File Detection will display a short list of matches with sample data in fields, allowing you to select from the list the best log file type ensuring you are getting the best match available.

Constantly improving, developing and enhancing, to make your Web security more efficient, Wavecrest Computing has been the recognized leader in Web Security Solutions for over 19 years. Wavecrest’s scalable filtering and forensic reporting analysis product lines, CyBlock and Cyfin, are designed to enable organizations to successfully address Internet abuse, legal liability, shadow IT, workforce productivity, Malware, and many other Web security threats.

automatic logfile analysis

Export Web-use data in CSV format for external analysis with Wavecrest’s Audit Data Export.

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Import-wizard-overviewWhen it comes to Web-use data, organizations need easy and flexible access to protect their network, their users, and their company. Management or IT may need to externally analyze or manipulate the data due to events such as audits or incident investigations. Wavecrest has made it easy to export details of users’ Web activity, in one or more categories, with our Audit Data Export in Version 9.1.6 of Cyfin and CyBlock Software.

Is management requesting usage data on gambling sites for analysis by an external forensic data team? Or are they interested in social media and shopping usage for performance evaluations or audits? The administrator can easily select a time frame and one or more categories, run the report manually or set it to run automatically, and export a file in CSV format. Every visit made by a user is listed separately in chronological order and includes the user name, IP address, category, date/time, Web site, and full URL. The exported file can then be imported into, or opened with, most text-ready external applications, such as relational databases or spreadsheets, as needed for analysis. Cyfin customers also have available the export selection of a single log file configuration or all log file configurations.

To find out more about this feature and all of our products, visit: www.wavecrest.net.

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.

 

Dashboard Charting Now Available in CyBlock Cloud Service

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

The CyBlock Cloud service dashboard provides multi-perspective, high-level trend and bar charts. A number of these ‘quick-look’ displays depict Web-use activity trends from a variety of perspectives. Others compare activity between users, groups, content categories, and sites. The Dashboard’s easy-to-interpret charts provide an efficient way to quickly determine the amount and characteristics of Web activity and identify problems that may exist.

Dashboard Home
Get a quick overview of your entire organization’s Web activity.  Spot spikes in visits and bandwidth. Identify top users and most visited categories.

dashboardhome

Top Sites Visit Chart
Find out which ten sites had the most visits for the time period you specify.

topsitesvisits

 

Top Sites Bandwidth Chart
Find out which ten sites are consuming the most bandwidth for the time period you specify.

topsitesbandwidth

 

User Trend Chart
View Web-use visits, hits, or bytes over time for users, groups, categories, and acceptability classifications.

usertrend

 

Web Monitor
View Web activity in real time by user ID, the full clickable URL, and its category. Filter on users, groups, or categories to be displayed.

RTMWebResults

 

March Madness

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Wavecrest Computing has heard about it every year for 15 years–companies complaining that their bandwidth is slow and their overall productivity is down, all during March and early April! What is going on? Madness, they say…March Madness!

The bandwidth strain can be a big problem. According to a recent survey, 66 percent of workers say they’ll follow the games during work hours, with 20 percent expecting to spend one to two hours following games, 14 percent spending three to four hours, and 16 percent saying they will spend five hours or more watching games instead of working.*

How do you control this type of bandwidth usage? While you may or may not allow your employees to follow the games at work, you will want to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with your network. Wavecrest Computing offers Internet filtering by category or site, white list filtering, real-time Web monitoring, and detailed Web-use reports on a particular category or site and bandwidth usage. Some of the many Wavecrest CyBlock features that monitor bandwidth or access to sports sites are:

  • Real-Time Bandwidth Monitor
  • Top Sites Bandwidth Chart
  • Top Groups Bandwidth Chart

For more information on CyBlock and a free trial download, see CyBlock Core Features.

* March Madness – Challenger, Gray and Christmas, Inc. 3/13/2013

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.

CyBlock Proxy New Release Version 6.7.0

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Application use and non-web-based traffic are oftentimes the primary culprits degrading your network speed.  As much as 70% of your company’s bandwidth is likely being consumed by non-productive pursuits — now is the time to address your poor network performance, slow applications, and bandwidth congestion.  CyBlock Proxy’s latest release of Version 6.7.0 enables administrators to easily manage access to the ever-expanding world of web applications — ensuring maximum network speed and optimum Internet / Intranet performance. 

  • Version 6.7.0 Enhancements
    • Bandwidth Throttling
    • Search Term Matching
    • Web Site Domain Matching
    • Path and Parameter Matching
    • Coaching
    • Filtering by Day and Time
    • Report Time Filter

Our latest release will relieve you from daily grunt work by automatically enforcing your organization’s Internet use policy, rapidly improving employee productivity and blocking Internet threats, freeing you up to work on other areas of importance to your organization and your career.  You can download the latest release by going to the Administration – Product Update screen.

For Product News: Administrators have the option of receiving 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 Proxy upgrades are free to current Wavecrest customers.  To download yours, login at CyBlock Proxy Downloads.

Read complete release notes with the full list of enhancements and corrections.  For additional assistance, please feel free to contact us today!