A survey conducted by Bloxx – the Internet Security vendors – of web filtering habits in UK corporations found that nearly three quarters of IT professionals had experienced colleagues accessing inappropriate/unsuitable websites in their workplace. Not only this, but the majority of those surveyed admitted overuse of instant messaging and peer to peer applications could also be a major problem and impacting on the productivity of the organisation.
With all the press coverage of companies dismissing employees because of nasty Internet use, it would seem obvious that unmonitored access has very serious and very real consequences. Nonetheless, firms still remain ignorant to this fact and it seems that many are unaware of the legal consequences and risks associated with it, despite the publicity.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development state that “employers are responsible for their employees’ activities when using the Internet’ and with no Internet policy in place, liability is a significant threat. If an employee is looking at pornographic websites on a company PC and a colleague witnesses this, the colleague can sue the managers/directors who are directly responsible. Internet security strategy should therefore feature as a significant factor in the risk management of an organisation.
Paul Murphy, Director of IT Development at Bloxx, says that “I can’t believe this is still a problem in UK companies.
Many bosses trust employees to act responsibly on the Internet and the amount of time spent using it. They can’t believe their workers would access nasty sites at work. It’s only until they put filtering in place and view the reports of sites that employees have attempted to access, that they realise what a problem it has become.
It’s impossible for bosses to monitor employees constantly and without any sort of web filtering in place these situations are hidden under the radar whilst employee productivity and therefore company profits are affected. Web filtering solutions with effective reporting tools automatically pinpoint who’s accessing what and when, which not only increases productivity but the prospect of company liability is practically eradicated.’