Monitoring Can Help Deter Employees From Violating Acceptable Use Policies

July 19, 2012

In advance of the 2012 Olympics, SpectorSoft conducted a survey on personal use of company computing resources during work hours. Survey results showed that nearly 40 percent of employees are not deterred from using corporate computing resources for personal use, despite policies against it. SpectorSoft’s SPECTOR 360 User Activity Monitoring software, according to SpectorSoft customers, can help safeguard against such abuse.

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Monitoring Can Help Deter Employees From Violating Acceptable Use Policies

VERO BEACH, FLA. – July 19, 2012 – SpectorSoft Corporation, the leader in computer and mobile device monitoring and analysis software, today announced the results of a survey on personal use of company computing resources during work hours. Survey results show that nearly 40 percent of employees are not deterred from using corporate computing resources for personal use, despite policies against it. The fact was revealed in a survey that polled responses from 350 individuals around the country. Survey respondents represented employees from a broad spectrum of industries, and educational and professional levels. The pool of respondents also included many small business owners and students

The survey focused on:

  • Respondents’ general interest in viewing the Olympics, and specifically in viewing the games during work hours on company-issued computers
  • Respondents’ opinions on what constitutes an acceptable amount of daily time to spend following the Olympics while at work
  • Awareness of respondents’ workplace policies regarding employees using work issued resources for non work-related activities

“The survey results about watching the Olympics are in line with what we’ve seen with employee behavior in the past,” commented Robert Lebeaux, president of The Plastics Group of America. “With SpectorSoft’s SPECTOR 360 solution, we’ve actually been able to fill the gap left by most traditional wall-and-fortress-type security approaches and effectively monitor the human behaviors that can impact productivity in the workplace. With SPECTOR 360, we’ve been able to better enforce the company’s Acceptable Use policy and mitigate a number of potential security and compliance issues, whether ultimately intended or unintended by the employee.”

“Misuse of the Internet at work began as a concern over wasted time, and it’s since become a multi-billion-dollar problem for businesses each year. In addition to tangible dollar losses due to lack of productivity, very serious and costly threats can occur when employees act or click on something they shouldn’t from a work computer,” said Jason Judge, CEO, SpectorSoft. “Analysts and enterprises have noted that user activity monitoring can help deter employees from violating computer usage, security and compliance policies.”

Top Survey Findings

Productivity Driven Down, Risky Behavior Heightened
Of the 350 respondents, nearly 40 percent (37.9 percent) say they plan to follow the Olympics on work-issued devices, and if Olympic events occur during work hours, the employee intends to watch them via the Internet. While the Internet is an excellent source of information that can enhance employee productivity and drive business success, it also can be akin to placing a television on the employee’s desk. Beyond the potential productivity losses, visits to many sites may violate security or compliance policies in place at the office. In turn, this can potentially compromise the integrity of the business itself, at the core.

One hour of following Olympics during the work day is OK
Of those respondents who planned on following from work, nearly half (41 percent) say they feel one hour daily is an acceptable amount of time to spend following the Olympics while at work. Curiously, in the situation where workplace acceptable-use policies against personal use of company computers were understood to be in place, more than 10 percent of respondents said it was still acceptable to follow the Olympics for two or more hours.

Company policy does not deter employers from conducting personal activities at work
Nearly 40 percent of respondents say their employer has policies against using a work-issued computer for non-work-related activities, or they do not know if there is a policy in place. While personal Internet use may be enjoyable for employees, it generally goes against company Acceptable Use policies for workplace resources such as computers and the Internet. The activity can compromise network security policies, not to mention productivity.

Methodology

The SpectorSoft Olympics Survey evaluated 350 survey responses, provided through an independent online survey, conducted in July 2012. Respondents were at a variety of levels within their organization and represented a variety of industries including Banking and Finance, Advertising, Arts and Entertainment, Clerical, Healthcare, Hospitality, Legal, Real Estate, Retail and others.

View and download complete survey results here.