7 Must-Have Features in Internet Monitoring Software

If you are considering Internet monitoring software, you may be overwhelmed by all the buzzwords, bullet points, and marketing gloss that you find on vendor websites. What’s really important and a must is what you need to know now. I’ve deployed Internet monitoring software for countless clients, and for my employers’ networks in my four past jobs, and what I’ve learned is that the following seven points are what those must-have features really are:

1.     Malware scanning

Your Internet monitoring software must include malware scanning, and it must scan everything that comes down from the web. Scanning file downloads and streaming media is critical, but your solution must also scan the content of web pages too.

2.     Multiple engines

I haven’t seen an antivirus vendor yet who has a flawless record, so having Internet monitoring software that uses multiple engines and that is different from the antivirus software running on the workstations, maximizes our protection.

3.     Up-to-date categories

New websites pop up on the Internet continuously and search engines can find them in minutes. If you are going to effectively block access to “bad” sites, you need category lists that are updated regularly.

4.     Whitelists

Sometimes you have to allow access to a site, no matter what. Your Internet monitoring software must have a whitelist category that ensures your users will never be blocked from a business critical website.

5.     Blacklists

“Bad” is a relative term, and there will be sites on the web you do not want your users visiting, no matter what the reason is. Make sure your Internet monitoring software has blacklist capability.

6.     Anonymized reports

Trust me, there is such a thing as too much information, and sometimes you really don’t want to know who tried to visit what site. Anonymized reporting protects users’ privacy. If you don’t have to know who was blocked, only that the blocking worked, this is the way to go.

7.     Bandwidth limits

Not all streaming content is bad. There’s tons of good training material on websites that’s provided as embedded YouTube videos. When Internet monitoring software can limit the bandwidth streaming media consumes without blocking it completely, your users can get to very valuable data, without adversely impacting other critical traffic flows.

There you have it; seven must-have features to look for in an Internet monitoring software package. Other features are nice, and many will have them, but without these seven a product isn’t going meet your needs.


This guest post was provided by Casper Manes 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. Learn more about why you need Internet monitoring software.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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