Small companies don’t have the resources of large corporations and they always try to cut their budgets as much as possible. While this is easy to understand, especially having in mind the current economic situation, security is one expense you shouldn’t cut under any circumstances. Simply because it costs too much to deal with a security disaster, you could have prevented, if you had the right software in place.
Why a Small Company Can’t Go Without Internet Monitoring
Internet monitoring is one of the major security activities for a company of any size. You might be biased and regard Internet monitoring as a form of voyeurism or a Big Brother approach but if you follow the rules, you won’t cross any borders. For instance, if you enforce an Internet Usage Policy (and there is no doubt every company should have one), you will set the rules for what can be done with your Internet connection and what can’t.
In a nutshell, it is too risky to go without Internet monitoring. You might be a small company and trust your employees (i.e. you hand-pick every new employee, don’t hire hackers, so you don’t expect them to perform evil deeds with your Internet connection) but still you never know who might do what.
What You Risk When You Don’t Monitor the Internet Activities Inside Your Company
When you don’t use Internet monitoring, you are taking too many risks. Here are some of the risks you avoid when you monitor your Internet usage:
- You see how your employees use your company resources. The Internet connection at your offices is a company resource. This is why you have reasons to know how your employees use the Internet. You aren’t paying them to spend their time on Facebook, Twitter, or watching movies on YouTube? Of course, not many of your employees will admit that they are spending their time on fun sites instead of doing what you are paying them for, so you need a more impartial tool to know this.
- Web filtering reduces cyberslacking and increases security. When you have Internet monitoring in place, you not only see who is watching what but it also acts as a prevention measure. Your employees know that any attempt to access the Internet is logged and this reduces their desire to waste time on fun sites.
Internet monitoring isn’t a passive logging of activities only – it also can be used in a proactive way. If the software you are using provides for, you can easily block scams and social engineering schemes that use innocent people (in this case your employees) to achieve their goals. When you are using Internet monitoring and notice suspicious activity around an employee you trust, you could easily investigate if he or she is acting knowingly or if simply cybercriminals are taking advantage.
- You get protection against viruses and other malware. Viruses and other malware spread easily when you don’t monitor your Internet activity. When a virus gets into your network, it can spread as fast as lightning, if there is nothing to stop it. It is true that antivirus programs do a great job in catching and stopping viruses but any additional level of protection helps a lot.
For instance, if there are viruses, they usually exhibit patterns of behavior you can’t catch with bare hands and sometimes with an antivirus program alone. When you monitor your Internet activities and there is an unexpected surge in traffic, this is almost always a symptom that a virus or other malware is spreading in your company network.
- Internet monitoring logs are valuable for security audits. Even if you don’t spot all wrong-doings realtime, later when you want to perform a security audit, Internet monitoring logs are of great value.
- Legal obligation to collect and store records. In some cases you mind be legally bound to collect and store information about your Internet usage. Even if you are not obliged to, if illegal activity is performed from inside your network, it is you who is responsible for this. If you don’t have logs of past activity, it becomes next to impossible to catch the culprit. When you have logs, you just see where the suspicious traffic originated from and very often it takes a little time to find who did it.
Internet monitoring has become a de facto standard for any company. You just can’t afford not to monitor your traffic. All you need is a reliable Internet monitoring solution and you are ready to go.
Author:- This guest post was provided by Tana George on behalf of GFI Software Ltd. GFI is a leading software developer that provides a single source for network administrators to address their network security, content security and messaging needs. More information: GFI internet monitoring software. For a sampe Internet Usage Policy, check this document.