Why control internet access?

Web-based threats, cyberslacking, uncontrolled web browsing and the downloading of unauthorized material, are a few reasons behind the increasing need for organizations to deploy internet access control within their infrastructure.

Nearly every organization today is connected to the internet, and the majority also give their employees full access. Internet use is seen by some as a sacrosanct right and this often creates problems when employers limit access or enforce usage policies.

Controlling internet access – a sensitive subject because no one wants to be controlled – is one issue that businesses are fast coming to terms with because there are business interests at stake. Blocking adult sites and other illicit material should not raise any eyebrows among employees!

Organizations are seeing, first-hand, that without some form of control, employees are going to use the internet during office hours for reasons that have little relevance to their job. There is nothing wrong with this so long as there is no abuse. Apart from the loss of productivity and time-wasting, uncontrolled browsing and downloading of files is a big security risk.

Many organizations know full-well that employees need to use the internet during office hours – most can’t work without it; but organizations are also aware that irresponsible and unfettered access is costing them money because productivity falls and bandwidth consumption goes up for all the wrong reasons.

Also, the risk of employees downloading illicit material or some form of malware cannot be ignored – especially not with web-based threats which the flavor of the moment for spammers and cybercriminals.

That is why internet access control is so important – giving organizations comprehensive control over what their employees are doing, browsing and downloading while at the same time not restricting activity to an extent that stifles genuine productivity and business in general.

Internet access control allows administrators to apply granular controls to browsing and downloading activity. Using web filtering and web security software, for example, an administrator can restrict access – based on specific categories – to websites. This can be done on per user or per group basis.

Moreover, the administrator can limit the use of bandwidth, allocating quotas per employee as well as blocking certain file types. Besides being able to block any hidden downloads, with internet access control software you can also monitor browsing and file downloads in real-time, and protect your system from any viruses unknowingly downloaded by your employees.

Internet access control is an intrinsic element for any business’s security strategy. The internet is a fantastic tool but without proper controls on how it is used by employees, the business is opening itself up to unwanted risks and costs. When properly implemented, internet access control addresses these problems while ensuring that employees continue to access the internet in a non-abusive manner and not subject to a ‘Big Brother’ approach.


This guest post was provided by Chris DeMicoli 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 access control.

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