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!

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.

What’s Hogging Your Company’s Bandwidth? Causes for Slow Network Speed this Holiday.

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

If you haven’t noticed, online holiday shopping lasts well beyond Cyber Monday.  According to a ComScore report, after the 2010 holiday shopping season, more than 85% of Americans online visited a retail site in December of last year.  Employees shopping online at work are likely causing critical applications, like Voice over IP (VoIP) and video conferencing, to perform poorly if at all.  The last thing you and your company need is network latency or slowdowns due to non-work related online activity.  Many of our clients are seeing a spike in bandwidth usage from shopping websites and have quickly taken measures to filter browsing to that category.  Which sites consumed the most bandwidth for your company this month?  Determine what factors are impacting your network speed before you decide to purchase more bandwidth – an expense that could be avoided with the right tools and a bit of discipline.

With 19 different types of highly customizable employee Web-use reports, Cyfin Reporter offer insights as to which types of traffic consume the maximum volume throughout the workday.  Monitor, filter, and report over 500 million Web pages in 74 categories and set throttling thresholds for sites that are slowing your company’s Internet speed with CyBlock Proxy.  Now is the time to address your poor network performance, slow applications, and bandwidth congestion.

We’re so sure you’ll benefit from our solutions that we offer a free 30-day product trial. Both products provide quantified data to help IT personnel keep track of bandwidth utilization by users as well as by type of usage (appropriate versus not so appropriate). After you’ve downloaded our products, take advantage of the User Comparison Trend Chart to detect unexpected spikes that could indicate excessive bandwidth or Web use.  Then review your Top Sites Bandwidth Chart (example seen below) and find out which ten sites are consuming the most bandwidth or had the most hits or visits for the time period you specify.

Top Sites Bandwidth Chart

 

Top Sites Bandwidth Chart for both Cyfin and CyBlock

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

 

Cut Costs with Wavecrest’s Internet Filtering, Monitoring and Reporting Products

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

It has always been important to know that your company’s resources are being used properly and to the best of their capability.  Businesses want to ensure that their employees are being productive and not wasting the organization’s time and resources.

Internet access is one of those resources that can easily be abused, costing an organization time and money. Internet filtering and/or monitoring with one of Wavecrest’s Cyfin or CyBlock products can help preclude or drive down costs in at least four areas: productivity, bandwidth, legal liability and security.

1. Productivity

  • The average worker admits to frittering away 2.09 hours per 8-hour workday, not including lunch and scheduled break-time (America Online and Salary.com survey, 2006).
  • The average employee costs a company $29.71 per hour (including salary, overhead costs, benefits, payroll taxes, etc.) —- United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics — March 2010.
  • Lost productivity costs the company $59.42 per day per employee (2 hrs x $29.71).
  • Average employee works 240 days per year.
  • Yearly loss per employee is $14,260.80  (240 x $59.42)
  • Loss per 1000 employees is $14,260,800 per year.
  • Average cost for a Wavecrest Internet filtering or monitoring product with a 1000-employee license is $3,500 per year ($3.50 per user).

Conclusion:  Cost of a Wavecrest license is less than three tenths of one percent of the cost of lost productivity. A well-communicated Web-use policy, coupled with an effective monitoring product, greatly increases productivity in the workplace.

2.  Bandwidth

Reliable studies indicate that as much as 70% of a company’s bandwidth is being consumed by non-productive pursuits. Activities such as online video, audio streaming, downloading movies or MP3’s are especially damaging.  It is quite clear that eliminating or significantly reducing bandwidth abuse can improve network performance and preclude or decelerate the need for organizations to support increased bandwidth use.

3.  Legal Liability

Web-related legal costs typically result from employees visiting pornography sites.  Many studies show this to be a serious problem. In fact, according to research by Nielsen Online in October 2008, one quarter of employees who use the Internet visit porn sites during the workday.  Hits to porn sites are higher during office hours than at any other time of day, according to M.J. McMahon, publisher of AVN Online magazine, which tracks the adult video industry.

This type of activity puts the employer at serious risk of being sued by other workers who are offended or upset by being exposed to pornographic images. Such suits usually take the form of sexual harassment or hostile workplace litigation and can be very costly in terms of damage to reputation as well as legal costs.

4.  Security

Studies show that approximately twenty percent of personal use of the Internet by employees involves activities that pose potential threats to employer network security. Examples include file sharing, the use of malicious code, spyware and more. Like bandwidth abuse, the associated costs are difficult to quantify, but such activities can easily result in network disruptions or slowdowns and/or loss or compromise of proprietary data; these all come with a cost.

Few Employers Have a Social Networking Policy in Place

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

A recent report by Manpower found that very few companies have policies regarding social networking use.  In fact, only 29% of US companies have a formal social networking policy in place.  Social networks are not only time wasters, but they can pose serious security risks or damage a company’s reputation if employees post confidential or harmful material about the company.  No matter what an employer’s stance is on social networking use in the workplace, it is highly recommended to have a policy in place and educate employees on that policy. Joseph P. Paranac, a shareholder in LeClairRyan’s Labor and Employment Group has offered Web-use policy suggestions on what companies should include.

If you’re unsure whether or not you want to block social networking, we have also written a paper that addresses the issues surrounding social networking use in the workplace, the importance of creating a policy, and monitoring or filtering employee’s Web use according to that policy.

White Paper: Social Networking or Social Not-working?

Source: https://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007493

More Businesses Monitoring Employees’ Internet Use

Monday, September 14th, 2009

More businesses are monitoring their employees’ use of the Internet due to a constantly evolving Internet and increased security and productivity concerns.  A recent article, “Big Employer May Be Watching,” from the Tampa Bay Business Journal discusses these concerns in more detail and provides advice from various IT professionals in the field of Employee Internet Management.  Below is a snippet of the article with advice from Wavecrest Computing’s VP of Business Development, Dennis McCabe.

The reasons why companies monitor employees has changed over time, said Dennis McCabe, VP of business development at Wavecrest Computing Inc., a developer of management software based in Melbourne.

After the burst of the dot-com bubble companies grew increasingly concerned with productivity. The concern later shifted to security issues posed by unwanted e-mail or “spam.” Productivity is once again a concern with the economic downturn, as well as security within a company, he said.

“This is not a firewall where you might have unknown hackers that might attack you. These are people working in your building, colleagues,” McCabe said.

Communication between management and staff is essential.

“You need informed management about how employees are using it and based on companies’ philosophy,” McCabe said. “They need to formulate a policy based on that.”