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.

SPECTOR 360 7.4 Enhances Standing as Mac Monitoring Solution

June 29, 2012

The latest version of SPECTOR 360 User Activity Monitoring software permits network administrators to quickly and easily deploy, record, alert on and review the activity performed on Mac clients. In addition SPECTOR 360 7.4 includes System Health Alerts to ensure optimum functionality of all SPCTOR 360 recorders, system services, and databases.

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SPECTOR 360 7.4 Enhances Standing as Mac Monitoring Solution

VERO BEACH, FLA.June 28, 2012SpectorSoft Corporation, the leader in computer and mobile device monitoring and analysis software, today announced the availability of SPECTOR 360 7.4. This latest version of SpectorSoft’s User Activity Monitoring software for Mac and Windows networks enhances the industry’s most advanced solution for monitoring the needs of computer networks with a mix of Mac and Windows operating systems, or of those dedicated to the Mac OS.

Using SPECTOR 360 7.4 User Activity Monitoring software, network administrators can now quickly and easily deploy, record, alert on and review the activity performed on Mac clients, making SPECTOR 360 unique in its ability to monitor the activities of employees running the Mac OS.

“With its important Mac enhancements, SPECTOR 360 7.4 is in lockstep with the needs of the marketplace today by continuing to affirm the importance of the Mac in general, and the Mac on business networks specifically,” said Mike Tierney, vice president of operations at SpectorSoft. “Just a few years ago, analysts at Forrester Research suggested Windows PCs were the only computers companies needed to concern themselves with, but now that stance has nearly reversed. Forrester recently went on record urging business to prepare for a strong and continual influx of Macs in the workplace.”

SPECTOR 360 User Activity Monitoring (UAM) provides detailed visibility into and analysis of the digital behavior of both Mac and Windows computer users, across all devices, on or off the network, across time, and within the context of their actions. SPECTOR 360 delivers screen captures of all activities that take place on Macs; these provide precise and accurate details that address a broad set of security, compliance, privacy and process-oriented issues in an automated, cost-effective manner. Without User Activity Monitoring, organizations must rely on costly, labor-intensive manual aggregation of logs and event alerts. Manual processes fail to provide reliable, complete results and frequently lead to failed audits, compliance violations and security incidents.

“SPECTOR 360 7.4 is another powerful step forward for what already is the industry’s leading User Activity Monitoring solution,” said Tierney. “Since inception, SPECTOR 360 has allowed IT and security professionals, human resources departments, legal counsel, general managers and business owners to keep their organizations secure and productive by monitoring the digital behavior of their users.”

In addition to Forrester’s guidance regarding the importance of Macs in the business environment, the rise of catastrophic data breaches and insider threat has prompted another high-profile analyst Gartner, Inc. to pay close attention to User Activity Monitoring as a critical part of every organization’s security arsenal.

In a March 2012 report entitled Information Security Is Becoming a Big Data Analytics Problem, Gartner’s Neil MacDonald advised, “To help protect from insider attacks and to better detect advanced targeted attacks, organizations are increasing monitoring of all types, including detailed User Activity Monitoring.”

SPECTOR 360 7.4 Does ‘Detailed User Activity Monitoring’
Activities monitored by SPECTOR 360 include email, chat/IM, files transferred, application use, websites visited, Internet searches, documents printed and data copied to removable storage devices. Plus, SPECTOR 360 includes SpectorSoft’s renowned Screen Playback function, a feature that permits the video-like playback of everything users have done at their Mac and Windows desktops and laptops.

“User Activity Monitoring from SpectorSoft gives me complete visibility into the digital behavior of all the computers across my network, which includes Macs,” said Celeste O’Keefe, CEO of The DANCEL Group. “The new version of SPECTOR 360 is going to make monitoring my Macs as easy as it has been to monitor my Windows-based computers. When it comes to SpectorSoft software, I’m a believer. Every business needs to have it. It’s a new world with the technology we have out there, something we need to monitor.”

SPECTOR 360 7.4 Key Enhancements Overview:

  • Automated, remote installation and update of the Mac client
  • System Health Alerts to ensure optimum functionality of all SPECTOR 360 recorders, system services and databases
  • Support for Microsoft SQL Server® 2008 (included with SPECTOR 360 installation of up to 999 licenses) and SQL Server 2008 Standard (included with SPECTOR 360 installations of 1,000 or more licenses)
  • Streamlined install, setup and configuration

Here’s Your Summer Checklist: Beach, Bonfires…and Pedophiles? ParentingTodaysKids.com Launches To Protect Our Families

Vero Beach, Fla.June 6, 2012 — For most children, summer brings a long-awaited reprieve from the routines of school and work, idyllic beach days, friend-filled late nights and luxuriously lazy mornings. Summertime also brings pedophiles, cyberstalkers, and months of unrestricted access to your children. To help parents guard against such concerns this summer, SpectorSoft today announced its association with the launch of an innovative, new website resource http://www.parentingtodayskids.com – designed to help parents and children alike better understand the challenges of living in today’s digital world.

“Kids have more free time in the summer months, which means they will be spending more time online and on their cellphones,” said Lisa Shaw, Editor of ParentingTodaysKids.com and Senior Director of Child Online Safety at SpectorSoft, the leader in monitoring software and protecting kids online and on their smartphones. ParentingTodaysKids.com is here to help parents and kids stay safe this summer…and hopefully every moment from this day forward.

“Social networking activities like Facebook and Twitter have become playgrounds for our kids and many parents feel left out of what is happening there. It’s easy to think of social networking as harmless or trivial, filled with insignificant content about what someone had for lunch or photos of a pet. Unfortunately, that is a naive perspective at best, and fatal at worst. Kids are being harassed, abused, threatened, and lured into dangerous situations every day, all from their computers and cellphones.”

According to a Pew Research Center study, more than 30 percent of online teens have experienced harassment from a peer and i-Safe states that less than 58 percent of those being cyberbullied told an adult that it was happening. Harris Interactive notes 19% of teens surveyed said they’d been cyberbullied and 10% say they’ve cyberbullied someone else.

In addition, the research team of Sameer Hindaju and Justin W. Patchin of the Cyberbullying Research Center suggest that youth who are victims of cyberbullying also experience stress or strain related to offline problems such as running away from home, cheating on a school test, skipping school, or using alcohol or marijuana. Sadly, their research also states “studies and high-profile anecdotal cases have demonstrated a link between suicide and cyberbullying victimization.”

While it might be hard for some parents to even imagine this level of onslaught and how their children would begin to navigate such an attack, the reality is that it’s happening…and kids are reacting in many different ways. Do you know the signs? Shaw, a mother of five and a Harvard MBA, is an expert on the information parents need to arm themselves with to be the best parent possible in today’s increasingly technological environment. That’s why she recently stepped out of her daily activities at SpectorSoft to help design ParentingTodaysKids.com.

“We make sure our kids wear seat belts, take and pass driving lessons, learn about water safety and the dangers of drugs and alcohol. We monitor TV shows watched, books they read and friends they associate with,” said Shaw. “But we let them spend hours, weeks even years sending and reading messages that we never read…from people we don’t know about, about topics we have no idea about.

“Are they sending photos of themselves that will compromise their futures forever? Who is befriending them online? To whom are they telling intimate details? Are they divulging where they live and what they do every day? Has anyone ever threatened them? Do strangers make them feel scared or nervous or uncomfortable or worse? At ParentingTodaysKids.com, we have a tangible solution that can help parents keep their kids safe today.”

The launch of ParentingTodaysKids.com is being heralded as THE destination site for parents, teachers, extended family, and organizations concerned about the safety of our youth. At ParentingTodaysKids.com you can find up-to-the-minute news, help and solutions, from experts and other parents, for the issues that are plaguing children and families today.

“Every parent is trying to create the safest environment possible for their kids,” continued Shaw. “But the reality is that the playing field has changed dramatically. We designed ParentingTodaysKids.com to help parents and families find immediate and real solutions. Parents can learn about what is actually happening, identify the warning signs and continue to keep their family safe. It’s every parent’s job, privilege, and responsibility to make sure their kids are safe and sound each and every day.”

Some of the topics to be found on ParentingTodaysKids.com include:

About Lisa Shaw

Shaw, a mother of five and Harvard MBA, is SpectorSoft’s Senior Director of Child Online Safety where she assists in driving innovation and evangelizing the need to protect children in today’s digital world. She also serves as Editor for ParentingTodaysKids.com, utilizing her expertise on the technology and trends you need to arm yourself with to be the best parent you can be.

Here’s Your Summer Checklist: Beach, Bonfires…and Pedophiles? ParentingTodaysKids.com Launches To Protect Our Families

June 6, 2012

For most children, summer brings a long-awaited reprieve from the routines of school and work, idyllic beach days, friend-filled late nights and luxuriously lazy mornings. Summertime also brings pedophiles, cyberstalkers, and months of unrestricted access to your children. To help parents guard against such concerns this summer, SpectorSoft today announced its association with the launch of an innovative, new website resource – http://www.parentingtodayskids.com – designed to help parents and children alike better understand the challenges of living in today’s digital world.

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Seven Out of Ten Adults in U.S. Believe Smartphones Increase Risks to Teen Safety, According to New Survey from SpectorSoft

February 6, 2012

In a late January survey of 2,500 U.S. adults, 69 percent of these respondents said they think smartphone usage increases risks to teen safety and well-being, including bullying, drugs use, and exposure to a range of inappropriate material. Nearly 90 percent of U.S. Adults also think parents of minors have the right to monitor what their children are doing on their smartphones.

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