Is unrestricted internet access killing productivity in your business?
The pervasive growth and universal adoption of the internet and technology tools have impacted massively on businesses of all types and sizes. The ability to instantly communicate, respond to customer requirements and share information has raised business efficiencies and customer service levels immeasurably over the past decade (or two!) Think about it - could your business survive in today's 'instant gratification' economy without computers, email, internet connectivity and mobile devices?
There is a compromise component to everything.
The flip-side of the technology productivity curve is that allowing your employees unrestricted access to your data network and unrestricted internet access can actually radically decrease productivity and compromise data confidentiality.
Social media sites are proven productivity killers.
Allowing unrestricted access to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and similar sites is akin to allowing your expensive human resources to spend much of the day on lunch or tea breaks chatting to their friends. Actually, it's even worse as you are not even aware of either how much time is being wasted or whom your employees are communicating with.
What's the best way to block websites and stop the loss of productivity?
Traditional solutions to this problem encompassed enterprise-level hardware-based firewall solutions that were both expensive to implement as well as difficult to maintain. The growth of 'cloud-based' solutions means that effective website blocking/filtering solutions are now available to all levels of the business community.
Cloud based website blocking solutions are affordable and easy to manage.
Cloud-based solutions require no investment in infrastructure or personnel and are easy to use and maintain. Monthly subscription-based licensing means that the solution is extremely affordable and doesn't force users to be tied into long term contracts.
So how does cloud-based website blocking help limit productivity losses?
Through a 'cloud - or internet-based' management console you are able to create a hierarchy of users within your organization with associated levels of authorization. It may be unacceptable and counterproductive to simply deny access on a global basis to an entire organization - website blocking must be able to be intelligently and discriminately applied across various levels in your organization.
Company directors and other selected personnel can be granted unrestricted access to approved sites.
It goes without saying that certain role-players, including directors, managers and, for example, marketing personnel, require unrestricted access to social media sites. It's also harsh to completely deny access to other personnel. Whilst it's not acceptable for people to be accessing non-business facilities all day, today's reality is that facilities such as Facebook and Twitter have almost become an essential communication tool.
Time or duration based access can be granted at various personnel levels.
Whilst directors may have unlimited social media site access, other personnel can be granted access at various times of the day (for example, early morning, lunchtime or late afternoon). During all other times of the day, selected website categories remain blocked from access. These limited access rights can be granted to either a preconfigured group of personnel or to individual people.
Certain site categories should be permanently blocked.
Even company directors and high level managers have no need to be accessing websites that fall into specific categories at any time. Categories that come to mind include sex/porn, gambling and gaming amongst others.