Web Filtering: Are Employees Offended?

Paul Mah, on the ITBusiness Edge blog, reported on GFI’s September survey of web filtering practices in small and medium businesses and got some interesting feedback from readers.

Web filtering is put in place primarily to improve network security, but another big reason is to stop the loss of productivity, he said. Employees however can be offended by the implied lack of trust.

One of Mah’s readers said he dutifully “practices self-censorship to enhance personal productivity.” Another, however, asked: “What makes you think your employees are productive now? A slacker will always find a way to slack around.”

GFI’s survey last year found that 47 percent of U.S. SMEs had the means to monitor or filter HTTP traffic. The GFI survey released in September (631 respondents), showed an increase in the number monitoring or filtering HTTP traffic (69.9 percent).

SME_Web_filtering

From the report:

“When asked why they had invested in a web filtering and web security solution, 9 in 10 SMEs said they did so to block inappropriate content, to prevent malware infections from downloaded files and to prevent malware attacks via drive-by downloads. More than half said they wanted to reduce cyber slacking, to control what sites employees can or cannot visit and to reduce bandwidth costs associated with unnecessary browsing/streaming.”

Tom Kelchner is Research Center Manager at Sunbelt Software. Tom is a communications professional with extensive background in computer security, anti-virus application testing and computer virus analysis. He is a former daily newspaper reporter and deputy press secretary to governor of Pennsylvania.