Category Archives: content filtering

Why Slackers Love Tech

You just gave your staff an extra 6-week paid vacation to check in with friends on Facebook, expose your company’s valuable trade secrets from smartphones, watch cat videos, and send résumés to your competitors  – all on your time, and your dime… That’s right: if a full-time employee wastes just ONE measly hour each day, it equals 250 hours burned – 6 weeks of paid time – on non-work-related activities.

 

Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are a constant source of distraction to people who feel like they need to keep in touch at all times.

Not only is work time being frittered away, but crucial company secrets slip through the cracks more easily. And sites being visited on your network expose your whole system to malware, hackers and online theft.

So, what are you going to do about it?

Face it – you rely more than ever on mobile technology. And you want to have faith in your team… But how do you know they aren’t secretly taking advantage of your good nature when they’re online?

You don’t. The only way to know what’s really going on at work is to monitor their on-the-job online activities.

Celeste O’Keefe, CEO at DANCEL Multimedia, a Biloxi, Mississippi, marketing firm, started monitoring her employees when she noticed some of them attempting to cover their computer screens as she walked by.

Since then, she’s fired four people for digital infractions. One was a man doing side deals with clients that should have come into the firm. She also fired a woman doing schoolwork on the clock.

Your rights as an employer to track web and e-mail activities of employees using company computers are well-established. But should you? And if so, how do you do so legally, and without damaging company morale?

Several good things happen when you check your team’s online behavior. For one, it can help your company avoid theft, embezzlement or other financial harm. Monitoring can also prevent gathering information about your employees’ religion, political views, sexual orientation or medical history. This could expose your firm to discrimination lawsuits.

Disciplining an employee for making negative comments about you online could result in trouble with the National Labor Relations if you have well-founded suspicions and documented agreement with your attorney and top managers.

Set clear policies. Document your corporate policy on Internet and device usage to make rights and responsibilities clear to everyone – and to protect you in the event of a legal challenge.

Inform and gain consent. It’s not enough to simply let your employees know you’ll be watching them. By being fully transparent and explaining the risks to the business from improper use of digital assets, you’ll steer clear of legal issues without putting a damper on morale.

 

Don’t Push Your Network’s Luck

Look around your office. Isn’t it great to see your team hard at work on their computers? Yet if we take a closer look, let’s see what’s really happening…

Joe, your new sales rep, is poring over last weekend’s game stats…

Amy in marketing is looking for a new job, surfing your competitors’ websites, chatting with their HR people…

Wes, over in customer support, just bogged down your entire network by downloading a video file of Metallica in concert…

Bob in accounting is browsing stock-investing sites, in search of a hot tip…

Okay, so maybe it’s not that bad at your company. But this type of behavior will happen to some degree if you don’t proactively prevent it. The real problem is, unfiltered content often links to malware and other threats. Ignore it and you risk productivity losses, legal liabilities, extortion, blackmail and fraud. And not only that, the resulting data loss and corruption can cost your company big-time. Cyberthreats stemming from unfiltered content aren’t something you can count on your lucky leprechaun or four-leaf clover to protect you from.

In today’s mobile environment, content filtering has becoming a greater challenge than ever before. Your company may already be doing some filtering at the network level. However, when was the last time you checked the number of mobile devices linked to your network? As your workforce goes mobile, your network is exposed to a rapidly expanding “attack surface.” With BYOD (bring your own device) now the norm, the old rules of content filtering just don’t cut it anymore.

Are You Making Any Of These Mistakes?

Old content-filtering models presume your network has a safe “firewall.” But now, with BYOD, you need a different way to protect your data. And that’s where endpoint security comes into play. Endpoint filtering keeps devices on your network safe from infection, no matter where they hook into the Internet.

But make ANY of the following mistakes with endpoint security and your network could be a sitting duck:

  1. Missing even ONE endpoint. This applies to tablets and smartphones as well as home-based machines that VPN into your network.

 

  1. Skimping on security policies, protocols and training. Believing that tech tools alone will keep your network secure is a recipe for breaches. In fact, no technology can keep a network safe if users cut corners.

 

  1. Leaving endpoint filtering out of your overall security plan. Ad hoc security invites disaster. An improperly designed system exposes holes that hackers love to find.

So, What Exactly Should You Filter?

Forrester Research states that companies whose users access the cloud should:

Detect and intercept unusual or fraudulent activities related to data in the cloud.

  • Detect, neutralize and eliminate malware in cloud platforms.
  • Detect and monitor unsanctioned cloud applications and platforms usage.
  • Protect against leaks of confidential information.
  • Encrypt structured and unstructured data in cloud platforms.
  • Investigate suspicious users and incidents.

Between BYOD and ever more complex cyberthreats, you simply can’t afford to run around putting out fires. You absolutely MUST proactively defend your network in depth with endpoint content filtering. We offer content filtering that is customizable to your business while still offering the highest level of protection. We can also help segment your wireless network, so those who do BYOD won’t ever touch the network that your critical business data is on. With a complete proactive managed service provider like ECMSI, you can sleep better at night and stop relying on “luck” to keep your network stable and secure.

My Coffee Machine Got Hacked

In today’s world it seems like anything can fall victim to a cyber attack. We all know that a computer, wireless network, server, (etc.) can be compromised. Now imagine that you’re at work and you see a ransomware message on your coffee machine’s screen. That’s right… a COFFEE MACHINE. This may sound ridiculous but it did happen and could happen to any workplace. Bet you didn’t know ransomware is now a part of the new continental breakfast.

A chemical engineer with a degree in computer science posted this instance on Reddit and explained exactly what happened that led to this attack on their workplace coffee machine. It all began when a factory worker encountered a ransomware message on his computer, he then called the help desk to get the issue resolved and stepped out to grab a cup of coffee. The worker then noticed the same message on the coffee machine’s screen. Now, this ransomware did not just shut down the employee coffee supply and hold it for ransom (which, that would be a whole other nightmare),this ransomware spread throughout the factory and shut down factory systems. So how did this all happen?

Coffee machines are supposed to be connected to their own isolated WiFi network, the person who was installing the network made the mistake of connecting it to the internal control room network, when they noticed the coffee machine still wasn’t getting internet they then connected it to the isolated WiFi network. While a hacker was poking around in their systems they noticed that huge security fall and managed to squirm their way into the system and gridlock the entire factory network.

A coffee machine is not the only issue, practically any computer- implemented or computer enabled device can be compromised, this then leads to a wild search for what else is connected to that same network that could also become infected? Network vulnerability is like a screen door. If you do not pay attention and their is the tiniest hole in the screen somehow at least one fly will manage its way through and get into your home.

Being proactive and making sure your systems are always being monitored for any issues is very important. Implementing the right security precautions and making sure your network is sealed tight is the only way to prevent malware from grid locking your network. Finally, please make sure your office coffee machine is installed properly!