1. Summarize the benefits of using automated software tools to manage staff access to Internet content and e-mail. (10 marks)
In today’s information age, using Internet at the workplace is essential for business. Having said this, statistics show that a majority of employees use the organisational resources for doing personal work such as social networking, email, online shopping, etc. Also a number of employees engage in activities that might cause problems for the organisation financially and legally. As a result more and more organisations have opted for automated software tools to manage staff access to Internet and e-mail. The advantages of such software tools are many, some of which ...view middle of the document...
These software can also capture instant messages from applications like different instant messaging services. This is particularly important for organisations that deal with confidential information such as banks and government bodies.
Managed access to Internet also means that it prevents the staff from accessing websites that installs malware on the computer network. It also protect the network from dangerous downloads in real-time by ensuring that any files downloaded by employees are free of viruses and other malware.
If the employees are constantly downloading huge files from the Internet or streaming videos off the web, it could affect the Internet speed and could affect business transactions. Automated software can be used to control and maximise bandwidth within the organisation.
Finally, the use of automated software enables the management to enforce Internet Usage Policy within the organisation.
2. What practices does the article suggest organizations should adopt to counter misuse of computer resources by employees? Can you suggest further measures? (15 marks)
This article suggest that organisations should adopt filtering and blocking websites to counter misuse of computer resources, but it also says that it is not the ultimate solution to the problem. The approach of filtering and blocking websites is used to deny the employees from accessing websites such as Facebook, blogging websites and any other online activities that could contribute to demise in productivity. Since this approach does not completely stop misuse of computer resources, the article suggests that companies should put into place a clear policy on how and when employees should use the Internet and make sure that they stick to it. The article also discusses the approach of monitoring employee activities, which involves using monitoring software used to trace user activities on the computer. It is highlighted in the article that written consent from employees should be obtained before going ahead with this, if not it could be in breach on privacy laws in some of the countries.
Apart from the above practices, a number of other measures to counter misuse of computer resources by employees are outlined below.
The privileges of the employees on the computer systems can be limited so that the users do not have administrator rights when using the systems. One of the most important privileges of the administrator is the ability to makes changes in the system. If this is right is not given to the users then the users will not be able to install any software on the systems. Examples of this include peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing programs such as BitTorrent and LimeWire which if used can reduce the Internet speed for the whole organisation. Also, since these software can be used to download material that is illegal (e.g. underage pornography) which could put the organisation in a position of legal prosecution. Limiting user privileges also deny users from...