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Background

Businesses need a smart work-force to quickly assess the changes in the markets and the strategies of the competition. The counter-strategies have to be set into action within hours. Businesses can no more survive with just - "trained work-force". They need a "smart work-force". Self-inspired quest to learn and self-teach is the hall-mark of the smart work-force. The knowledge-quotient of our smart work-force alone can secure our competitive edge.

Internet is an important tool, to increase the knowledge-quotient of the smart work-force.

The safeguards to our Internet and Information Resources are necessary to prevent crippling productivity, financial and collateral damages. The smart work-force needs its computer systems to be highly available, as more and more of our operations and their processes are managed via computers on large networks. Any employee who loses the use of his computers, or misuses the available system resources, will affect the entire process-chain and cause serious productivity losses.

System or network down-times can incur productivity losses upon every department. Though assessing the productivity losses due to abuse or misuse of Internet access is so much more difficult to compute. But if we computed the cascading effect of all such productivity losses, on the entire process-chain, the figures would be more revealing and frightening.

Many organizations prefer to turn a blind-eye to this, since they believe, that this loss can-not be prevented. So they believe that the exercise of identifying the same is simply futile, and continue to suffer in silence.

It can indeed be, a difficult problem - trying to ensure that we cleanly distribute the Internet access to our users, while ensuring that it is not misused or abused, intentionally or otherwise.

SafeSquid® can tremendously reduce, such losses, so it may serve very well in the interest of the organizations, to assess these losses, and evaluate its value-proposition. SafeSquid® helps you to enforce a comprehensive Internet Use Policy for your enterprise. It gives you the freedom to set a highly granular policy that accommodates all the variations you need for individual usage profiles, without compromising on security.

Let us quickly review some of the cause-and-effects of such losses –

 

The rapid changes in recent technologies have made malicious software so much easier to be propagated.

Even producing such software is now becoming an established industry of - Spyware. So many innocent-looking web-sites now host applications that steal data from your computers, like the email addresses of your important contacts, and then send SPAM from your computers to them, completely without your knowledge, or even spam-emails to you, while using their names! This can at times cause serious prestige losses. There have been thousands of incidences of email-spoofing by worms. So many employees have felt the embarrassment of receiving emails with pornographic content, supposedly from a colleague!

There are so many browser-based security exploits, which get revealed only after a major disaster happens. The developers of the original software work hard to produce the security patches and plug these holes. But is it possible for you to implement all the necessary patches on all the systems in your network? And it sure doesn’t help the situation if your users want to try newer browsers like FireFox etc. By the time the security patches are applied, so many of our computers get affected and we lose so much time, money and efforts, in making them useable again.

And all this while, the usual business operations remain affected, and losses keep mounting.

Various web-sites tempt our users to install, so many innocent looking software, like - browser toolbars, software downloaders, games, etc. Some may contain a known virus and therefore may be detected by simply virus scanning everything passing through our HTTP gateway. But the newer generations of such software, have no content that virus scanners would identify as malware.

And yet, they cause immense damages, because once they get installed in our computers they cannot be removed.

Some such software simply keeps downloading images or advertisements from the Internet and display them on our computers. Quite a few such software may be even installed quite intentionally by our own users, because they automatically crawl the internet to fetch pornographic material, or music! None of them may contain things like viruses, and thus their presence would therefore remain undetected for long periods.

The results would be however, very bad – productivity losses, because – the employees are now enjoying these downloaded materials, when they were supposed to work! And consuming all the Internet resources making work difficult for those who were more sincere. So many times we have important business tasks getting delayed because people were wasting the business hours for emails, to exchange notes with their friends and relatives, or something more serious like searching for a new job or uploading their resumes, to apply for one! At times haven’t we all seen people indulging in frivolous activities as catching up on sports score-boards, or drooling over some pornographic web-sites. The worst part about such activities is that, while these people were delaying their own work, they were hindering others too. These activities not only choke the bandwidth, but also cause practically unlimited nuisance and distractions.