Pearl Software Blog

Internet Monitoring and Web Filtering Topics

Lookout Overhead

Pearl Echo is not a proxy server.  Internet traffic will flow via the path that it normally does when Pearl Echo is not installed.  The Pearl Echo workstation agent resident on an endpoint will only “echo” back data necessary for reporting; it also periodically gathers Internet access rules set for the user at the Pearl Echo server.
 
As an example of overhead, CNN.com will deliver over 10.5MB in content and images from their web page.  Pearl Echo will log 9800 bytes to the Pearl Echo server.  That’s less than 0.09% overhead!  This is described pictorially in this video.

Pearl Echo Tips and Tricks - Shortcuts

Shortcuts

You can right-click on any entry in a Pearl Echo Log Window to link to and view a site, restore data like email content and chat, update a control list or decode email attachments. 

For Web sites you can also view the Echo.Filters category to which the web site belongs.

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...