How to Monitor User Activity in the Workplace

You hire employees to help your business function. But regularly, they are slacking off at work and not taking your time seriously. When your employees are on the clock, they should be working for your business. Naturally, employees need to take their breaks, but these should be specific times that they are clocking off for a break and taking time away from their computer. They should not be “slacking off” and taking “breaks” when they are supposed to be working!

If you have employees, then you need the ability to monitor their activity. Surveillance systems and cameras can help activity monitoring in a place of business, but what about computer use? You can’t walk around and snoop over their shoulder all day. Besides, even if you did do this, your employees would hide what was on their computer screens. And none of you would get anything done!

In addition to adopting a surveillance system, consider implementing user activity monitoring software. This software is extremely versatile and allows management to stay on top of user activity on monitored computers. 

See today how user activity software from SoftActivty can transform the way you do business. 

User Activity Monitoring Software

User activity monitoring (UAM) software goes by many names. Computer monitoring, employee monitoring, internet monitoring; these are all software designed to monitor user activity on a designated computer. This software is deployed from a single computer (a web console) so that the head of any business, IT department, or security team member can monitor multiple workstations and PCs. 

Computer activity monitoring software is typically installed remotely and secretly, so employees aren’t aware that their user session is being recorded. Because UAM software monitors employee productivity and aims to detect malicious activity, this software needs to act stealthily; otherwise, employees and other malicious actors might try to hide what they are doing. 

By stealthily tracking user behavior, computer monitoring software can help a business identify an insider threat using a company’s sensitive information for financial gain. This software can also perform essential performance tracking functions like time and project management for monitoring employee performance and employee productivity

Sophisticated employee monitoring software will be running secretly in the back-end and recording everything that happens on a computer in real-time. Even if an employee wipes their browser history, this software will have a duplicated, unalterable account saved on the web console. Businesses can also monitor computer action in real-time, so you can always check-in on your employees. With employee monitoring software, no company has to question whether their employees are truthful and actually working for them!

Businesses love the monitoring software surveillance features since it can alert a security team to data risks, data breaches from outside sources, insider threats, untrustworthy downloads, and more. 

Features of Activity Monitoring Software

Activity monitoring software is designed to monitor employee surveillance and track employee productivity. To do this, UAM might use features like:

  • Recorded keystroke logging
  • Network packet inspection
  • Recorded activity logs
  • Recorded user activity through the webcam
  • Kernel monitoring
  • User session screenshots
  • Record of applications used
  • Record of websites visited

Productivity Monitoring

Productivity monitoring is essential for a business to keep track of the hours an employee spends working during the day. One of the best ways to do this is through project or task monitoring. 

By organizing time-based on projects or tasks, management can then identify where an employee spends a lot of their time and if projects or tasks take longer than the time allotted. 

Here are some employee monitoring features to look out for: 

Time Tracker. Organize projects into individual tasks. Tasks can include basic housekeeping or getting a report done on time. A sophisticated time tracker will tell you how much time was spent on each task, project, or spent doing nothing. 

Application Activity Log. Compare the time tracker to the application activity log to see where your employee spent the most time. If they were supposed to be in a specific computer program, check to see how much time was spent there and compare it to the time tracker. If they were really on Netflix, you’d know. 

Computer Activity Screenshots. Employees lie about what they are doing all the time. A screenshot never lies. See what is actually happening on the computer screen with regular, interval and secretive screenshots. 

Website History. Some employees think that by deleting their website history, they can hide the fact that they were shopping for shoes on the company dime. Not anymore. Secure an unalterable website history with your monitoring software. Keep a secure copy of the website history so that you can refer to it later. 

Session Audits. Keep the webcam recorded so that you can do regular session audits. With this feature, you can see if your employees are sitting at their desk and if they are actually awake or snoozing!

Time Wasted Reports. Management does not have to go through all of the logs to see how many hours employees wasted on Facebook. Instead, a time wasted report can be easily viewed from the web console or sent via email to the admin monitoring employees. 

Surveillance Monitoring

Every company has something of value that can be stolen and used against them. Clients give personal information to companies, and some companies keep credit card information on file. 

Monitor your company to ensure that no malicious actors are trying to steal this information. Whether an employee let them into the network or the malicious actor is the employee, keep track of computer activity through these key surveillance monitoring features:

User Behavior Analytics (UBAs). User behavior analytics (UBAs) or machine learning software identifies baseline behaviors so that it can detect when normal behaviors become abnormal. UBAs might alert staff to anomalous behaviors so that management can step in when something seems fishy. 

Privileged Access Controls. Set up privileged access so that only authorized individuals can access certain files. You’ll also need to limit or restrict file sharing and access sharing. 

Network Activity. Monitor and restrict network packet downloads, download limits, and upload limits. If a user is slowly uploading a large amount of data, this could signal that a malicious actor is trying to steal sensitive information.

Keystroke Logger. A keystroke logger will record all the keys typed on a monitored keyboard. That way you can see what your employees are really typing. A sophisticated monitoring program can also redact sensitive employee information like passwords and banking data.  

Key Alerts. Configure key alerts that the web console should receive. Did an employee deviate from normal behavior? Did they send an email to an unknown email address? 

Recorded Messages. Record the messages sent in any communication client, including email, company messengers, and business messenger clients like Skype and Slack. 

Uses of Activity Monitoring Software

Tracking productivity helps businesses to identify weaknesses in their staff or projects that are going off the rails. 

However, there are more use cases than just that: You’ll want to deploy employee monitoring for the following reasons: 

  • Communications monitor for slacking employees or insider threats
  • Keystroke logging to determine malicious employees or malicious actors
  • Recorded idle time to see when employees are slacking
  • Session audit recording to verify sessions comply with company policy
  • Security audit checks to make sure security features are up to date
  • Gain insight into remote workforce activity
  • Attendance tracker
  • Project management and time management
  • Recorded activity log for each user
  • Kernel packet monitoring
  • Key alerts for risky behavior
  • Key alerts for when users log in after work hours
  • User permission settings and privileged user monitoring
  • Screenshot monitoring
  • Customized alerts for restricted access points
  • Upload/download controls and alerts

Use computers to tap into the goings-on of your business. While your security department is intelligent, they need all the help they can get. New and improved computer malware moves swiftly and only sophisticated monitoring software can detect these infiltrators. 

Computer monitoring is right for any sized organization. From government networks to academic institutions, organizations need to use computer monitoring to protect their networks and valuable assets.

How to Monitor User Activity in the Workplace

Monitoring user activity in the workplace is actually straightforward with UAM software. With a large workforce or even a remote workforce, UAM software allows any sized business to stay on top of its staff. Computer monitoring software no longer forces a business to trust that their employees are being truthful and doing the work they say they are doing

Deployed remotely, computer monitoring software can run secretly. Therefore, a business can catch any perpetrator who tries to steal sensitive company data or time. 

A web console acts as the main touchpoint for the head of security or IT. This web console can remotely install the software on computers connected to a network and all the monitoring will be done from this console. This program can also be integrated with anti-virus software and firewalls. 

Configure the software to whatever settings work for your business. If you don’t want to record your employees through the webcam, then you can easily turn off these features. This software can be monitored constantly, or be useful for sending key alerts and reports to administration.  

By SoftActivity Team

February 22nd, 2021