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.

One admin interface to manage all your employees’ Web use–CyBlock Hybrid Array.

Monday, December 12th, 2016

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Since all your employees use the Internet in some way every day, whether for cloud services, research, or just e-mail, they are prime targets for hackers, malware, and data theft. Efficiency can play a key role in actively keeping your company secure from as many cyber threats as possible, especially today when your employees can be working in many different locations.

Choosing multiple cloud instances allows for advanced coverage of your distributed workforce but this can be time-consuming if managing each separately. Solution? CyBlock Hybrid Array. Now you can have one server location to manage all your CyBlock Cloud instances as well as your main office CyBlock installation–see charts or run reports that include all the locations or focus on one, monitor any of the paired CyBlock Cloud accounts, and manage any policy changes that can automatically or manually be synced with the appropriate cloud instance.

Easy, efficient, proactive management of your Hybrid deployment with multiple-region CyBlock Cloud capability. Saving more of your time so you can focus on the mission-critical operations.

CyBlock Hybrid allows you to manage the policies for your on-premises and off-premises employees. Using CyBlock Cloud along with your CyBlock Appliance or Software installation, the Hybrid deployment secures remote and mobile users so there is no need to route traffic back to the main office. Free up local server bandwidth; easily monitor, filter, and manage users, both local and remote; and easily access reporting, real-time monitoring, and Dashboard charts for both your CyBlock Cloud and local CyBlock configurations.

To find out more about CyBlock Hybrid and CyBlock Hybrid Array, please contact us today.

About Wavecrest Computing

Celebrating 20 years in business, 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.

Don’t let size fool you.

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

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Don’t be fooled by the name–CyBlock Mini Appliance is powerful, comprehensive, and worth every inch of its compactness.

Maintaining visibility throughout your workforce is key to running a secure business today. Don’t settle on just any solution that really doesn’t meet your needs. If you need coverage for a remote office, have limited space either in your server room or in your office, or are struggling with how to keep your business secure with a limited IT budget, Wavecrest has more choices than ever. No matter what business size or industry type, CyBlock Mini Appliance is likely to be just what you have been looking for.

The powerful Mini Appliance provides the comprehensive Web-use security capabilities of CyBlock, including HTTP and HTTPS URL filtering, comprehensive detailed reporting, secure guest Wi-Fi services with captive portal, advanced threat protection, bandwidth management, cloud services management, as well as coverage for non-HTTP activity, e.g., P2P, torrents, IM, and e-mail. Get all of this in one compact and economical package. The general size of a Wi-Fi hub, the Mini allows you to put it in the corner, on your desk, or in that tiny space you have left in your packed server room!

As a cost-effective choice for any business type or size, the robust, yet compact Mini Appliance provides the leading-edge, comprehensive Web-use security capabilities of CyBlock. Designed to fit every business environment, the Mini Appliance can be paired with CyBlock Appliance or deployed on its own, depending on the required Web-use security solution needs.

For more information on CyBlock Mini Appliance or any of our other products, please contact us today!

About Wavecrest Computing

Celebrating 20 years in business, 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.

Things That Lie In Wait

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

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There are many shows on cable today that portray instant recognition of a breach. To repeat what all others in the actual cyber industry say . . . not realistic.

Think of the scenario where an employee opens a file or accesses a malicious Web site. Step one is done. Nothing happens; the employee shrugs his or her shoulders and moves on. Nothing happened, so we are all good, right? Wrong. In reality, malware can happen behind the scenes with no visual effect at all at the time of being infected. The malware is just lying in wait. It either waits for an external signal–a preprogrammed time or until a specific action on the host computer is done. A hacker then would have access to look around, doing nothing noticeable, just checking things out . . . until the time that he finds what he wants.

Six months pass. All of a sudden, systems are breached, potentially causing loss of controls, data, or financial information. And no one knows where or how it happened until a thorough investigation finally points back to the past point in time.

It sounds unavoidable, right? No, it’s not unavoidable but the chances increase all the time that it will happen to your business. But if you take steps to protect and prepare as much as possible, the damage can be potentially avoided or at least somewhat overcome.

How? Here are 5 steps to try to avoid or quickly recover from a breach:

  1. BACK UP!!! Enough said. Think cloud, separate, secure, and frequent. Ransomware, a type of malware, takes over your files and holds them hostage. With a secure and separate backup, your business can go on operating.
  2. Train. Train your employees for anything that could happen. Teach them about current cyber threats; keep them informed. They can be considered an additional “firewall.”
  3. Use patch management. The days of worrying about how frustrating the changes will be from new updates are over. Patch consistently . . . because many of the patches today are security related and crucial to staying protected.
  4. Apply multiple layers of security. Your firewall will not protect you from a threat that originates internally. And yes, many happen using some form of an internal breach such as phishing and e-mails with malware links, or by way of privileged credentials whether internally or from a breach at a third-party contractor. Get a comprehensive employee Web-use security solution that will block access to malicious sites and links.
  5. Monitor. Watch it all. You will see trends, user behavior, and anomalies. Monitor network activity and the activity that accesses the Internet. Guest Wi-Fi networks, BYOD, and employee Web use should be included. Make sure you have visibility into what is going on with a solution that not only provides real-time monitoring, but also forensic-level detail reporting easily accessible by both IT and managers.

Overall, taking steps to ensure your business is protected is crucial, but know that you can still keep critical business operations functioning following any type of breach. Providing proactive solutions to protect, secure, and manage your business’s Web use in a cost-effective, agile, and customer-centric way is what we do. Let us help.

About Wavecrest Computing

Celebrating 20 years in business, 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 http://www.wavecrest.net.

Wavecrest Computing Provides the Best All-around Customer Experience in the Web Security and Web-use Forensic Markets

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Wavecrest Computing is the recognized leader in the Web security and Web-use forensic markets. We directly address our clients’ needs with over 17 years of experience developing and supporting Web Security and forensic solutions. We believe delivering the highest quality product at the industry’s most competitive pricing is fundamental to our success. Wavecrest is also proud to provide the best in-house, U.S. based technical support in the industry. Our customers know that they will receive courteous, personalized attention when they speak with our knowledgeable and skilled personnel. We are committed to making sure each and every customer has a successful experience using our products.

A long-standing customer, Karleen Carlson of Van Diest Supply Company, agrees. “When I seek out a company to provide a product or service, I want it all — a great product, a great price, a salesperson that is responsive and treats me like I am their only customer, and technical support that is intelligent, easy to access, and easy to understand. Wavecrest meets all of these criteria. We have used Cyfin, CyBlock ISA, CyBlock Software and CyBlock Cloud. Each of these products met our needs at a fraction of the cost of what the competitors are offering. Any pre-sales questions we had were answered promptly, and the Wavecrest technical support ranks in the top 5% of all technical support I have worked with in 29 years of being in IT.”

We know you will end up agreeing as well that ‘The Wavecrest Way’ is the right way. To gain a fuller understanding of Wavecrest’s product selection, we invite you to contact us personally or to take a moment to visit our Web site and download a product for a free evaluation. Our Technical Support Services are here to help throughout the evaluation process.

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.

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:

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

 

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.