Computer Monitoring Software and Why You Need It

Malicious attacks on large and SMB business data are increasingly on the rise and will cost your company potentially millions of dollars. Not only will investing in computer monitoring software protect your company against malicious insider threats, but it can also support your company’s short-learn and long-term productivity goals. 

Not sure what computer monitoring software is? We understand. As a business owner or IT response member, it can feel kind of invasive using computer monitoring software to monitor employee operations. We want you to feel comfortable knowing that this software’s aim is to protect your company, while still respecting the privacy of your employees.

Computer Monitoring Software

Here’s a closer look at monitoring software and why you need it:

What is computer monitoring software?

Computer monitoring software is an invisible and remote-access software that tracks the applications, websites, and time data for your users. In general, this software is used to understand employee productivity levels, but it can also be applied on university campuses and large networks with remote access. 

This software will log all incoming/outgoing network traffic, user processes, and internet use. Computer monitoring software works by recording a user’s system login name so that a unique identifier is associated with certain actions. 

The software preferences are controllable by the administrator. So you can choose which events are important and need to be stored. In order to identify events, the software uses specific rules and signatures to capture the network traffic and login processes, capture applications used, URLs visited and more. The software stores this information in a secure database. Secure software should not store passwords because it could risk user privacy.

By collecting this information, you are able to completely monitor how an employee spends their day. 

The software will alert the admin to certain types of network or user breaches, abnormal system behavior, and display trends around typical network flow. If you are concerned about productivity, you can monitor things like the amount of time spent on Facebook or the number of keystrokes.

Employee monitoring software is meant to be as minimally invasive as possible while providing you with valuable user data. 

Why do you need it?

We can understand that employee monitoring is uncomfortable. You might feel like you’re prying. However, that’s not the case. Employee monitoring will drastically decrease slowed productivity times, and it’s absolutely vital to protect against insider threats or even liability lawsuits.

 With employee tracking, you can protect your data AND protect your employees.

The data breach

In October of 2018, Capital One announced that an individual obtained private information for those who had applied to Capital One’s credit cards, as well as current Capital One customers. The perpetrator was captured by the FBI, and the FBI claims that while 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers from U.S. consumers and 1 million Social Insurance Numbers (SINs) of Canadian consumers were obtained, no credit card account numbers or log-ins were compromised, and over 99 percent of Social information was uncompromised. 

While you may be thinking that this type of scenario is unlikely to happen to your SMB, think again. Even if your company is not able to access customer bank accounts, your business transactions are collected as a means of doing business. You will also have valuable employee and customer data that could be sold for a hefty sum.

IBM’s 2019 report on the cost of a data breach also concluded that a data breach costs SMBs at least $2 million CAD. For larger companies, the average was $4.44 million CAD, and it was proportionally higher for SMBs to recover if they could recover at all. 

It might strike you as odd that this number is so high. However, most of the expenses from a data breach come from a lack of business. A data breach can shut down your company until the breach is resolved. This can be for security reasons or because your data or network is being held hostage. 

Moreover, businesses need to locate and mitigate the breach, reach out to customers after the breach, make necessary IT adjustments so it doesn’t happen again, all before they begin to reconcile business. Unfortunately, many of your consumers will have already lost trust in your company and may look for services elsewhere.

By investing in computer monitoring software, you will be able to detect when abnormal behavior is present on a network or device. Your IT department can also continually monitor emails, group chats, and network access in order to isolate who was involved in network compromises.  

The Productivity Whoas

Monitoring productivity will go a long way in boosting morale, setting workplace expectations, and ensuring that you reach your financial goals. 

By tracking employee application use and keystrokes, as well as the amount of time spent on those applications, you will be able to insulate your company from issues concerning compliance. Collecting this data provides definitive evidence that an employee might have been misusing or abusing company time. 

On the flip side, computer monitoring can also alert your company to glaring structural issues. If you are seeing a large amount of turnover, an employee monitoring software might be able to identify issues with personnel or staffing, structural processes, workplace environment, and workflow enabling you to determine the factors impacting workplace behavior. 

While something like this might not be on your radar, addressing toxic workplace culture can lead to positive ROI in that employees believe that you are working towards a better environment, and they might be more willing to work for someone who understands certain struggles.

Computer monitoring software also enables you to protect everyone from liability and lawsuits. As an employer, it is likely that you will be liable for the behavior of your employees. With computer monitoring, you can eliminate risks before they get out of hand. 

The bottom line

Computer monitoring software is minimally invasive on employee privacy. Investing in monitoring software can save your company millions of dollars by increasing productivity, improving workplace satisfaction, protecting against liability lawsuits, and malicious data attacks. 

By SoftActivity Team

February 3rd, 2020