Those of us who are not QUITE young enough to have grown up online might remember the days where only one or two employees in the office had computers with web access due to some specific job responsibility. Solitaire and minesweeper were the most dangerous desktop diversions. Now, pretty much every office worker is connected to the Internet, and lost worker productivity, bandwidth hogged by non-business applications, and exposure to malware are all nasties that can tag along with that access.
According to a survey conducted by International Data Corp (IDC), up to 40% of internet access at work is spent on nonwork-related browsing. While you surely should have a written company policy about internet use, what can a small business do to prevent employees from abusing their web access during working hours?
The ContentProtect Security Appliance is a “one-box” solution that combines bandwidth management, web filtering, anti-virus and anti-spam protection in one appliance. It lets IT managers figure out where bandwidth problems are coming from in real time, which can be critical to company operations. Rather than wondering if that guy in marketing really is downloading music and movies all day long, you can know for sure.
One customer with 50 workstations found it to be a huge timesaver. “We kept having episodes when the network would stop or slow down and I just never knew what was causing the problem,” said Mike Bailey, IT Director for Beaumont Products in Kennesaw, GA. “I had no way of knowing whether the bandwidth usage was appropriate or not, all I could do was spend upwards of an hour going from person to person trying to find out where the problem was.”
Along with monitoring and reporting capabilities, ContentProtect allows administrators to put users into groups with different Internet usage settings. It also allows restrictions to be placed on specific applications – so you could block web access by specific programs, not just by individual users.
Laura Leites, Assistant Editor, Smallbiztechnology.com
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