Pearl Software Blog

Internet Monitoring and Web Filtering Topics

Pearl Echo Tips and Tricks - Auto Refresh

Auto-Refresh the Activity Log

To automatically update the Pearl Echo Activity Log, select "Auto-Refresh" from the File menu. While in Auto-Refresh mode other Pearl Echo console features are unavailable. Press Alt+F5 to escape Auto-Refresh mode.

Pearl Echo Tips and Tricks - AUP

Internet Acceptable Use Policy

You can inform users of your Acceptable Use Policy by summarizing it in the Warning message box in the Options menu. Your message can be a maximum of 256 characters.

You can also set you user's browser to redirect to an web page that hosts your AUP.

Pearl Echo Tips and Tricks - Category Block

Categories

If a web site is blocked due to an Echo.Filters rule that you have set, you can right-click on the violation entry in the Pearl Echo Log Window to view the category to which the web site belongs.

Pearl Echo Tips and Tricks - Email Attachements

View E-mail Attachments

You can decode and read any E-mail attachment by right clicking on the desired entry in the Pearl Echo Log Window and selecting 'Decode Attachments' from the shortcut menu. All attachments users send and receive will be saved.  You will need the file's associated application or viewer to open or run the attachments.

Pearl Echo Tips and Tricks - Overrides

Allow List Override

Entries in your allow list take precedence over all other controls with the exception of time controls. You can add an entry in your Allow List if you would like to override blocks caused by settings in your keywords, Ratings or Echo Filters. You do not need to have your Custom Controls set to Allow Listed for this override work.

Pearl Echo Tips and Tricks - Profile Changes

Profile Changes

For efficiency considerations, the Pearl Echo agent updates its profile settings from the Pearl Echo Administration Machine when a user logs into the workstation and when the Profile settings change while the user is logged in. After receiving its initial configuration at login the agent may take up to five minutes to sense a new Profile setting on the Pearl Echo Administration Machine. If you are testing changes, instead of waiting five minutes for each change, log off and then log back onto a workstation (you do not need to reboot).

When you see the computer's Workstation Startup entry in the Pearl Echo activity log, you can be assured that the Pearl Echo agent has gathered the latest Profile settings.

Security and Employee use of the Internet - Part 3 of 3

Three Part Blog

Part 3: Security and Employee use of the Internet

Internet Security has become an umbrella term covering everything from identity theft to virus protection to using firewalls to keep outsiders out (except when you want them in). This article focuses on intentional as well as the inadvertent insider threat and address security concerns managers must understand when employees use company resources to access the Internet.

One of Pearl Software’s quickest success stories was a customer who kept losing competitive bids for contracts based on price. Fearing an inside leak, the customer installed our Employee Internet Management software and quickly discovered that one of his employees was being compensated for emailing confidential bid details to a major competitor. Another of our customers, a large hospital, was inundated with viruses – the digital sort. Computer viruses were frequently plaguing its systems, rendering them useless at times. Antivirus and antispyware software tools would successfully clean up defiled systems, but only after they wreaked havoc for users and the IT staff. The hospital installed Internet monitoring software in order to identify usage patterns and determine and block likely Web sites and users that were the root cause of their issues. The hospital’s primary concern was that an employee could inadvertently download a trojan, making an infected computer a gateway to external hackers and providing unauthorized access to patient information. More...


The Internet and Employee Liability - Part 2 of 3

Three Part Blog

Part 2: The Internet and Employee Liability

In the previous article, we looked at productivity concerns related to employee use of the Internet. In this article we turn our attention to liabilities managers must consider when employees use company resources to access the Internet. So what new liabilities have you brought upon yourself since your company decided to connect to the ‘Net?

The term “hostile workplace” conjures up images of screaming supervisors publicly berating employees. Now, Sally walks past Fred’s cubicle and Fred has a provocative YouTube clip running on his screen. Then Fred, who has always had a weird sense of humor, email broadcasts an off-color joke that he thinks is a riot. Most of the recipients in the office think Fred’s joke is marginally funny, if that, but Sally, who is miserable to begin with, is now sent over the edge and decides to retire by slapping a hostile workplace lawsuit on you. Sound like an exaggeration? The Internet has broadened the definition of sexual harassment. Edward Jones, one of the world’s biggest brokerage firms, issued a memo demanding its workers disclose if they sent pornography or off-color jokes over the brokerage’s e-mail system. Forty-one employees who confessed were disciplined, but 19 who failed to come forward were fired. More...

The Internet and Employee Productivity - Part 1 of 3

Three Part Blog

Part I: The Internet and Employee Productivity

Competitive enterprises exist to prosper and therefore must operate with efficiency. Corporate stakeholders are tasked to keep labor and material costs low, justify investment in capital and variable expenses and protect the enterprise from contingent and potentially crippling liabilities derived, for the most part, out of negligence (lawsuits, product recalls, negative publicity, physical and IT infrastructure damage and disrepair). We continue to hear that productivity gains are paramount to controlling inflation and keeping manufactured goods competitive in world markets. In order to control costs and maintain your company’s competitive advantage, it is incumbent upon Management to identify and rid the corporation of malingerers and identify those that are less productive. Functional units need to keep their house in order to reduce the probability of extraneous costs. Operational efficiency takes on new meaning in times of economic contraction. Add the constant spate of corporate governance and consumer privacy legislation and you have a recipe that only disturbs the delicate balance managers must deal with as they attempt to meet requirements without destroying employee morale. In considering employee Internet access, clear thought needs to be given to productivity, liability and security. More...

Healthcare.gov – Typical Growing Pains or a Security Nightmare in the Making?

At the outset, the #Obamacare website was not only riddled with errors, but it also came with a huge price tag: $600 million.  Most of us in IT cringe due to the fact that we have had our own hopefully-less-public IT disasters.  Projects evolve.  New software, hardware, devices and network designs are introduced to users that have typically been tested, revised, regression tested until ready for release.  The more complex, the further new releases will be from perfection.

When #Healthcare.gov went live the cacophony from the public combined with the bright lights of the media would make any IT development team want to curl up in the fetal position – and with good reason.  With $600 million, one can only scratch their head and ask why the development wasn’t outsourced to a US company with a track record of competence.  Why not IBM, HP or NYXT, the chief architects behind the single fault tolerant systems designed for the NYSE?  Why not hire the beleaguered NASA; they’re pretty incredible at getting the impossible done.  Why not tap the expertise of Google and Facebook; they live and breathe immense-scale data handling and user access. The Obama administration didn’t just throw up a faulty website, they emboldened so many that believe the government is incapable of doing big things.  And in doing so, they allowed their detractors to easily conflate a faulty website with a public healthcare policy. More...