Show cyber threats who is boss in 2018.

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

Last year went by so fast. In between everyone’s normal busy schedule, most of us had to deal with natural disasters of some kind. For us at Wavecrest, it was Hurricane Irma as well as an above average rainy season. For others, it was Harvey and Maria, as well as fires, flooding,  earthquakes, remnants of storms causing wind damage–the list last year seems to be endless.

2017 also brought on some notable cyber events with the Equifax breach as one of the top incidents. 2017 was definitely a year for the books. You may have also noticed a shift in the business digital threat protection messaging. We at Wavecrest noticed . . . because it shifted to what we have always focused on. People.

People are a big part of the cyber threats that take place in businesses. No matter how automated things are, there is always the aspect of human interaction–human vulnerability. Humans inherently have vulnerabilities. It’s not a fault of one individual over another; it’s not about how good your employees are. There is a point where a business owner, manager, or decision-maker has to come to terms with managing Web use for the sake of the business over “my employees wouldn’t do that” or “I trust everyone working for me.” It may be true that you have the most trustworthy employees, but mistakes happen . . . even to the best of us. Cyber criminals focus on the easiest route first to gain access to your systems. Many times this is the employee, or human, vulnerability.

So . . . the new year is here. What can be done to improve managing employee Web use? The key is to make sure you pay attention to the human endpoint because it is not always about a failure in the actual technology. The firewall is great but if you have a weakness with an authorized user, the hacker will get past the firewall. Defend the human endpoint.

Consider these as a starting point and build on each or all!

  • MONITOR YOUR EMPLOYEES’ WEB USE! Sorry. It had to be said. If you do not know what is happening, you will not be able to know why, when, or where it happened. And you will not be able to make an informed decision on how to stop it from happening again. Remember that many times the human error that allowed for a breach may have been habitual or reactive so the employee’s memory of how it happened may not be very clear. Make sure to have visibility into the actual Web activity.
  • Analytics. Really another part of monitoring but noted separately due its importance and the flexibility of what you should be able to view and analyze. Find a Web activity solution that allows you to see relevant, drill-down data when you need it. Trends, customizable charts, by user or group, and real-time information on activity and bandwidth use are all things you should be able to analyze easily. All will allow you to expose abnormalities in user activity, identify potential insider threat behavior, flag possible legal liability issues, assess trends for data breach exposure, and observe patterns for lost productivity.
    • Hits versus Visits. This one deserves a sub-bullet. Make sure the Web-use management solution you choose has clearly defined Hits vs. Visits. Hits consist of unsolicited traffic, such as ads, and are not a reliable tracking metric on its own. Visits give you uncluttered, relevant Web activity detail based on user clicks and are a critical component to understanding human behavior. The last thing you want to do is try and sift through a bunch of data that is not even really relevant to the employee’s actual Web activity.

  • Filter. Yup . . . another suggestion that has the “but my employees are awesome” stigma to it. BUT let me just remind you that this is something that will provide another layer of security from phishing, malicious Web links, and data loss. I got your synapses firing now, don’t I! Filtering allows you to block or restrict URL link clicks that an employee may not be aware are malicious. Hackers have become increasingly precise in how things look. Very convincing e-mails and Web links are not rare anymore; they are commonplace. It is not really all about making sure your employee isn’t streaming YouTube all day. Although that should be managed as well, it should all be under your control. Allow it, don’t allow it, throttle it, or open it all up. The solution you choose should allow you to do it all, in your own customizable way.

The point is that the human endpoint is still a leading way threats get into your network. It may be through phishing, a malicious ad, or use of a unsanctioned cloud application, or it may even be a human error such as the delay of updating software. Whatever the issue, you have to be as proactive as possible to protect your network. Educate your employees continuously, have a comprehensive Web activity solution in place, make sure your Acceptable Use Policy is current, make sure patch management is an active process, and hug your IT people regularly because they are usually some of the busiest and stressed people in your organization.

Here is to showing the cyber criminals who is boss in 2018! Happy New Year!

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.

Take the mystery out of employee Web use and gain pertinent insight into your business.

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

 

We are all seeing how business operations are continuously becoming more digitally driven. Many operations that were done on a desktop are now cloud- or app-driven. The connection to the Internet is a constant, and since your employees need that access to be productive, managing that connection should be a priority. Small businesses are finding that this access not only centralizes their operations and data but also can save them money. But they are finding that the amount of data being produced makes it impossible to find the relevant information needed. Looking at the employee-Internet relationship should be on the top of your checklist.

There are things that a Web-use management solution should provide, such as allowing a business to easily filter and control access, use white and black lists, and set time limits. But one of the biggest benefits that many times can be overlooked is the ability to access easy-to-use smart analytics and reporting tools. A filtering solution is great, but if it lacks a way to collect and correlate useful, pertinent data, then all that it is doing is restricting employees, causing frustration and potentially reducing productivity. With detailed reporting and analytics, managers can open up the usefulness of the Internet while knowing they still have the control to keep the business running smoothly and safely.

Look for the Web-use management solution that provides:

  • Drill-Down, Interactive, Forensic-Level Detail – A complete view of every link a user clicks, the exact search terms entered by a user, their search time, and more.
  • Ad Hoc and Scheduled Reporting – The information you need . . .  right when you need it.
  • Smart Reporting – Intelligent, timely, and cogent reporting on all aspects of employee Web usage.
  • Hits Versus Visits – Clear, uncluttered detail based on user clicks versus unsolicited traffic.
  • Manager Access – IT-controlled access for managers and HR allowing them reporting access without the need for IT assistance.

Analytics and reporting tools allow you to take the large amount of Web-use data your employees are producing and make sense of it. This data should tell you who, where, and when about the Web usage. Allowing you to see anomalies, activity peaks, bandwidth usage, and more, this visibility helps you plan and secure your network, data, and employees.

Don’t feel like you’re in need of tarot cards or tea leaves to know what is happening within your business.

About CyBlock

CyBlock Web-Use Management Suite makes more sense of all your Web-use data with CyBlock’s comprehensive monitoring and reporting features. CyBlock is available in Cloud, Software, Appliance, Mini Appliance, and VM deployments to fit any business size or industry.

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 Santas taking over your network?

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

Santas on computers at Virgin Megastore

Can you believe that it is almost the end of the year already? A lot has happened for us this year, and it seems to have made the year go even faster. No matter how fast or slow the year went for you, it is time for all of us to think of the holiday shopping season that is coming up.

Every year, it is predicted that more and more of us will be using online shopping to get a good portion of our list taken care of. With time constraints in normal life, your employees are definitely going to sneak in some shopping on their work devices, clogging up your network bandwidth with nonessential traffic–and it probably won’t just be on Cyber Monday!

Don’t experience additional holiday stress. Go ahead and allow your employees a bit of freedom to do some surfing to find the right toy, tie, or TV for their loved ones. But also give yourself, your IT department, and your whole business the gift of knowing your mission-critical business operations come first, with the bandwidth management, filtering, and reporting tools in our CyBlock Employee Web-use Security Solution.

CyBlock will help you and your IT team with:

  • Bandwidth Management
    • Uncover Web activity that can cause network slowdowns.
    • Spot spikes that could indicate excessive data use.
    • Identify which categories have the most visits triggering high bandwidth usage.
    • Pinpoint which bandwidth-intensive sites are being visited, hogging enterprise bandwidth, and potentially posing security risks.
    • Automatically throttle nonessential traffic by content category or group.
    • Stay informed with triggered alerts and real-time monitoring.
  • Web-use Filtering and Reporting
    • Limit the time users are online by the hour and day of the week.
    • Identify risk, and analyze usage of your network resources.
    • Configure policy exceptions for different users and groups.
    • Use white & black lists to restrict or allow access to certain sites.
    • Cover your main office, remote users, and branch offices.
    • Get complete, accurate, actionable, & compliance-ready reports.

Find ways to satisfy all your business and employee needs. Give your employees the gift of online shopping time during this holiday season, while making sure your IT team receives the gift of proactively throttling bandwidth for noncritical applications, getting alerts, and gaining visibility into bandwidth hogs.

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 and guest Wi-Fi 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.

World Cup 2014 is kicking off. Is your network ready?

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

fifa-world-cup-2014-brazil-logoThe 2014 FIFA World Cup games begin today and will run until July 13. Since the broadcast of the last World Cup in 2010, the number of Americans who have watched, attended, or listened to a major soccer match has increased by 32%. If most of your employees start streaming the games or highlights simultaneously, can your Internet bandwidth sustain the demand? 42% of IT professionals state that popular events impact their network. How many simultaneous users watching game highlights does it take to saturate your bandwidth? Just 2 streaming users result in a 1 megabit-per-second download, while 17 users equal a huge 10 megabits per second. The Internet bandwidth is quickly overwhelmed. Given the time difference with Brazil, most of the 64 matches will be played during U.S. office hours, and streaming video could deal a major blow to corporate network and application performance. When the first match of the day kicks off, smartphones, tablets, and laptops will be streaming footage live from offices around the U.S.

In addition to the major spike in bandwidth usage, World Cup 2014 malware sites are out there! According to a recent survey from Osterman research, some kind of malware has infiltrated 74% of organizations via the Web increasing security risks. Another major revenue loss for companies is lost productivity. The World Cup 2014 is 27 days, 66 matches, and a total of 99 hours average wages lost per hour each day.

Wavecrest’s Cyfin and CyBlock products and services help all types of organizations manage and control employee Web activity.Cyfin and CyBlock products do this by monitoring, filtering, and bandwidth throttling employees’ Web use, and reporting on the activity by content categories, e.g., sports, social networking, games, and others. Of particular note, with regard to the World Cup, CyBlock products can be set up to block Web access by categories and by half hour so employees can access sports sites on their lunch break or after hours. This approach can help sustain morale while minimizing lost productivity and bandwidth associated with the World Cup.

March Madness Starts This Week! – Estimated $1.9 billion Lost for Every Unproductive Hour

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

This week is the beginning of one of the most popular events of the year… March Madness!  An exciting month for sports fans everywhere!

The exMarch Madnesscitement during the tournament is addictive! Employees have office pools and discuss the games all through the day. The trouble with March Madness? It occurs during the work day. “An average of 10.7 million people watched March Madness games in 2013, the most since 1994.” During this time, an organization does need to worry.

Management needs to be concerned about low productivity, “An MSN poll in 2012 found that 56% of respondents, equivalent to 77.1 million employees, planned to devote at least one hour to March Madness. Using those figures, the damages rise to $1.9 billion for every unproductive hour.” IT, as well as management, needs to worry about the risk of lower bandwidth for critical business operations, “Turner Sports, which operates the NCAA’s website, said 6.8 million unique visitors watched games online during the first week of last year’s tournament. Visitors spent an average of 1 hour and 51 minutes online each time they opened a stream.” These disruptions can cause major problems with the normal operations of any business.

March Madness begins March 18th and runs through the beginning of April. Revisit your organization’s AUP and let your employees know the negative impact their actions could have on the organization.

It is a good time to think seriously about making one of Wavecrest Computing’s CyBlock Advanced Web Security solutions a priority. Whether you are thinking you would like to block all access to sports, or thinking you would like to allow some time for your employees to enjoy March Madness while maintaining control over crucial business operations. CyBlock Advanced Web Security solutions can do both. CyBlock can easily block sports or, just as easily, allow for filtering by time frame. Implement flexible filtering by day, hour, or half hour while controlling bandwidth, threat protection, and enforcing your AUP in an easy to manage interface. With deployments options of CyBlock Cloud with the optional CyBlock Mobile Security App, CyBlock Software, CyBlock ISA/TMG, or CyBlock Appliance, Wavecrest can help you find the solution that you need now.  Many of these options can be up and running the day you purchase. Do not wait until the Final Four’s final basket!

 

*Excerpts from Foxbusiness.com, March Madness Ready to Distract Workers Nationwide, By Matthew Rocco Published March 11, 2014

The World Cup Means Time Wasted at Work

Friday, June 11th, 2010

The 2010 FIFA World Cup games begin today and will run until July 11.  Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a research firm that deals with lost workplace productivity, ranks the World Cup as one of the biggest time wasters in the workplace worldwide.  And it’s not just time that World Cup viewers will suck up in the workplace.  Bandwidth consumption will also increase with the availability of video streaming of the games.

While the World Cup ranks number 4 in the US as a top time waster behind March Madness, the Super Bowl and Fantasy Football, it will still cost American companies about $121.7 million in lost productivity.  The British economy, however, is looking to lose about $7.36 billion in productivity, according to the British law firm Brabners Chaffe Street.

Wavecrest’s Cyfin and CyBlock products and services help all types of organizations manage and control employee Web activity. Cyfin and CyBlock products do this by monitoring and/or filtering employees’ Web use and reporting on the activity by content categories, e.g., sports, social networking, games, and others. Of particular note, with regard to the World Cup, CyBlock products can be set up to block Web access by categories and by hour so employees can access sports sites on their lunch break or after hours. This approach can help sustain morale while minimizing lost productivity and bandwidth associated with the World Cup.

Sources:
http://blogs.reuters.com/shop-talk/2010/06/08/world-cup-is-no-march-madness-in-sapping-productivity/
http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/blog/2010/06/world_cup_promises_some_kick_to_productivity_apps_aim_to_help.html
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/articles/060608/8worldcup.htm

Reminder: March Madness Begins Next Week

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

This is just a reminder that March Madness begins next week with the first game on Tuesday, March 18 and the first online games on Thursday, March 20. Experts estimate that more than 1.5 million employees will be watching the games from their desks and an overall potential $1.7 billion lost in productivity. And just like last year, NCAA On Demand is including the “boss button,” which brings up a fake spreadsheet to make it appear that employees are busy working.

Many businesses and schools are also concerned that the widespread viewing of the streaming video will slow or crash their computer networks. This is especially worrisome because for the first time this year all 63 tournament games will be available online, without online blackouts of games showing on local CBS TV stations.

CBSSports.com and NCAA.com, including NCAA On Demand, are included in the Wavecrest site-blocking list under Sports, and for those using Cyfin, access to these sites will be monitored under Sports. If you want to only block and/or monitor the live video, you can use one of Wavecrest’s custom categories to block and/or monitor www.ncaasports.com/mmod/player.