Taking a Proactive Approach

By Deborah Rothberg  |  Posted 2006-05-11 Print this article Print

to Clients and Security"> Taking a proactive approach to clients and security Some security analysts suggest companies take a range of proactive approaches to protecting their networks from what they view as one of their biggest security threats: employee misunderstandings.
While some companies implement Internet use or acceptable use policies, others pursue a more aggressive route by installing policing software.
A popular product is put out by SpectorSoft, and used by more than 10,000 companies to monitor their employees computers and Internet surfing activities. "[These companies] primary concern is that the average employee with an Internet connection at work spends between one and two hours a day surfing the Internet, and typically more than half of that time spent is not work-related," said Doug Fowler, president of anti-spyware vendor SpectorSoft. "And some employees are spending more than half of their work day goofing off on the Internet. Companies are looking to identify the worst offenders and turn wasted time into productive time, and our software helps them do this because it allows them to see exactly how their employees are spending their time on the computer." Companies that have implemented the software feel that theyve both boosted productivity and reduced their time patching security breaches. "Very often, wed find that the problem with an employees computer was that theyd clicked on a bad file, often from downloading music. Theyd download virus and it was contact work to clean their stuff," said Chuck Benedon, former executive vice president for compliance at Ashton Finance in Brookfield, Wis. He said the monitoring software reduced virus attacks. "We fired more than one employee for consistently violating our computer policy," Benedon said. Similar reactions were echoed among posting on the Web-surfing judicial ruling. "I may be old-fashioned in this respect, but the Internet connection at ones job, like the telephone, is the property of ones employer, and using it, especially on work time, for personal purposes, is theft from ones employer," commenter KHFleischer said. In the case in question, the city workers employers clearly felt the same. On May 5, despite the judges recommendation that he receive only a reprimand for disregarding warnings to not surf the Web on company time, Toquir Choudri was fired for Web surfing. "The penalty of termination is appropriate and not shocking to ones sense of fairness," Schools Chancellor Joel Klein said in a statement. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on IT management from CIOInsight.com.


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