Best Practices for Managing Productivity and Security of Remote Workers (Video)

Image with text: Managing productivity and security of remote workers

Video Transcript

Welcome to the webinar best practices for managing productivity and security of remote workers. Myself my name is Neel Lukka and I’m the managing director here at CurrentWare working from home here today so I’m sure many of you are as well so getting used to the transition from a daily office routine.

One tidbit to share I got an email yesterday that scared me a little bit that said that our building was going to be doing fire alarm testing today so I had to quickly coordinate with the Super to potentially not go off between the time of 11:00 to noon today so if any noises do come from a fire system it is because of that and I apologize in advance. 

My colleague Sai Kit Chu will also be joining and running for a technical demo later today as far as an agenda goes I want to talk about some of the market trends that we’ve been seeing with respect to the impacts of COVID-19 on the technology and IT infrastructure sector some of the best practices that we can reference as far as how we can help you improve productivity and security. 

We’ll do a case study with Larry Salvucci from Boston Centerless, who’s one of our CurrentWare customers, about how he deals with IT infrastructure during this time and how he deals with his employees shifting to remote work then we’ll pass it over to Sai Kit Chu who will do a CurrentWare remote work demo to show how you can configure it and then we’ll talk through a Q&A

Market Trends

Many organizations were underprepared for work-from-home

So let’s start off with market trends. The first market trend to discuss is that many organizations did not have a work from home policy and were underprepared. When we look at the work from home policies many organizations had a lack of clarity of how employees could work from home what the policies were and maybe they didn’t have enough hardware or devices configured either maybe they were allowing employees to work from home but sometimes on their personal laptops but given the fact that they are working from home 100% of the time at the moment that device and hardware configuration becomes more important.

The lack of formal policies were also one that are driving some concerns maybe it’s related to security protocols or training on work from home. An example of this issue is that 52% of CIOs in the last year thought that mobile workers had been hacked and so as this trend and changes occur that prevalence of hacking and concern definitely increases.

Increases in internet traffic 

The second major trend is related to internet traffic. We’re seeing a significant increase in Internet traffic and decrease in speeds so internet providers around the world have reported a sharp increase in the Internet usage. Some are saying it’s up to around 30 percent. So this is likely due to a shift to home networks, school and kids being home all day and multiple devices being active and connected at any time there’s also significant higher bandwidth usage type activities such as Netflix streaming or people playing video games so this is impacting speeds with one New York broadband provider setting that they’ve seen a 24 percent decrease in download speeds and some other providers have actually noted actually a significant higher decrease as well 

Struggles with VPN usage and maintaining secure connections

A third trend is related to VPNs and secure connections. 81 percent of CIOs say they saw a Wi-Fi security incident in the last 12 months and that number is said only to increase due to remote working. Many organizations under invested for this type of scenario with some stating than a max of 20 percent of employees at any one time can connect via VPN. So they’ve asked employees to work at odd hours, log off of email servers during the day, and different types of issues that have been caused due to this. And this isn’t just you know small organizations it’s organizations across the board: Canadian banks have reported constraints, military and government organizations in the United States have also noted constraints here. This is leading to one of the biggest concerns was that only 46% of enterprises are confident that mobile workers are actually using a VPN. 

Employee productivity struggles during remote work

From a Productivity perspective you know managers and supervisors are struggling with productivity management whether it’s just difficult to schedule catch-up meetings or at home distractions like concerns that people are watching Netflix during the day many employers are trying to figure out the best ways to adapt to the adjustments of a work from home team.

The important thing to know here is this is also new for many employees they may not be used to working remotely. They’re not able to just walk over to a colleague or may not have the right tools to enable them, whether that’s technology based whether that’s hardware based, or whether that could just be a physical constraint due to the type of internet that they have available or office setup that they have. So trying to figure out the best ways to manage productivity during this time is something that a number of businesses are struggling with.

Best practices for remote workforce security

Define your device policies and technology stack

So let’s jump into some of the best practices. One of the first things to figure out from a best practice perspective is defining your device policies and technology stack. 94% of CIOs reported that the rise of their company’s bring-your-own-device initiatives were the cause of increased security risks. 

At an office or in that type of environment it’s much easier to monitor BYOD but when employees are at home they’ve got their own laptops or computers or cell phones or other smart devices. It becomes very difficult to determine how and what they’re using from a company’s connection or work perspective so creating a very formal policy with regards to laptops and cell phones and understanding and determining what technology they’re allowed to use for work purposes is the first step in a best practice and managing remote workers

Now although this may seem intuitive to some of us it’s really important to reinforce this for your employees as it may not be as clear to them of what they’re allowed to use and what they should be considering. Also it’s important to define communication protocols whether it’s respect to personal emails being used or text messaging or the different types of chat applications being used at work define what is allowed and what is not allowed to be used.

Adjust alerting and monitoring for high-risk groups

The second best practice is identifying high-risk groups and figuring out ways to alert or monitor based on those individuals. So starting off with grouping and defining your groups we recommend splitting your organization into different buckets depending on the access that they have the types of devices that they’re using, the type of documents that they have access to, but also the types of platforms or portals that they login to.

In addition depending on if they are using their own devices if they are using a VPN all of those factors should come into determining the groupings and determining those high-risk groups and figuring out who and which groups need to be monitored more closely. Depending on your industry there may be compliance requirements and requirements for certain aspects of auditing or certain types of actions to be completed even though employees are working from home so again determining those compliance requirements will factor into those groupings. 

Now once you’ve figured that out network and endpoint report reviews should be looked at more often than previously maybe you used to monitor the types of devices that connect to your network on a bi-weekly or monthly basis we recommend doing that weekly or daily especially at the start of this work-from-home process. You may also want to set up alerts at lower thresholds to proactively catch and monitor suspicious activities and that could be related to endpoints connected, applications used, websites visited, those types of reports to be viewed more proactively than previously.

Educate employees on phishing and other security risks 

The next best practice we want to talk about was educating employees on phishing scams and other security risks. So there has been a significant increase in phishing via email text message phones and many fraudulent organizations are even imitating the government and making the messages COVID related. So educating your employees on this and making sure that they are aware of the types of messages that they will receive from you and ensuring that that first best practice about communication protocol and device is used or abided by is really important here. 

You know for example if you make it very clear that your employees will never receive a message from your personal Gmail for example or that they’ll never receive a text message from you that’ll make it easier for them to catch those phishing activities. I know here we’re based in Toronto, Canada and there’s been some phishing going around where they’ve been imitating the government saying that click this text messaging link to get access to your a COVID relief benefit. 

So those types of fraudulent alerts and fraudulent issues are prevalent and it’s really important that you educate your employees about these types of things that are occurring. There’s also other scams that are occurring where they’re imitating you know high upper management’s Gmail accounts and emailing the the workers to say hey can you please send me these documents and those types of policies are tough to implement to prevent those emails from actually being received but if your employees are educated on that it’ll hopefully reduce the amount of interruption that those issues can cause 

it’s also important to you know enforce your password policies and potentially be more stringent in this time so requiring the the changing of passwords more often and requiring more strong passwords is also important this moment

Best practices for remote worker productivity

The final best practice we want to cover here was discussing productivity goals and metrics with managers and configuring the right reporting. As I mentioned earlier this is new for many different organizations and many individuals so helping each manager or employee understand what the expectations and goals are really important here and defining the types of reporting that you should be looking at when when determining productivity

So first align expectations, discuss your culture whether it’s working hours or time zones or the way that they expect to be communicated whether it’s a daily standup or whether it’s a you know email communication on productivity on a daily basis. Figuring out that a culture and expectation is the first step. The second is you know to give managers and employees the tools they need to be productive so you may need to expedite approvals on some products or tools from a security and cost perspective to monitor or make employees more efficient. So given the fact that you know this hit many organizations so quickly and without much warning being able to offer them that ability to have that tool or report or product available that little system can help manage that productivity. 

So just before we jump into the next part of the webinar I wanted to just quickly give an overview of what CurrentWare is as it’ll help others understand if you are a customer if you’re potentially looking at CurrentWare from a remote management perspective. So we’ve got four different solutions related to internet restriction internet monitoring and web monitoring for productivity purposes, endpoint device blocking and reporting, and remote power management. So all these solutions are from configured from one console so it’s just one agent that’s set up on the device and everything is configurable for remote workers or workers working from home 

Case Study: How Boston Centerless manages remote workers

Neel

So now we wanted to launch our Q&A session with Larry Salvucci from Boston Centerless. Larry I’m just going to take you up off mute here. 

Larry

Good morning

Neel

How are you doing Larry?

Larry

Good, how are you?

Neel

Good good so I just wanted to introduce Larry to everyone. Larry’s been a customer of CurrentWare  for a number of years here and uses our CurrentWare suite which is the four products I mentioned before. Larry’s an IT manager of Boston Centerless which is a manufacturing organization in Massachusetts so thanks for taking the time Larry. Just to start off was wondering if you could talk a little bit about what your company’s work-from-home policy and remote working policy was prior to the COVID interruptions?

Larry

Sure. So basically we have a pretty tight control over our remote abilities to work from home and so on. Currently we have outside sales reps that obviously work remote at all times and they have company provided laptops so that’s one grouping of people that has always worked from home just because they’re remote. 

But as far as office personnel we typically don’t allow people, or we haven’t allowed them up to this point I should say a lot of people who work from home prior to us getting involved with CurrentWare because we had no way of controlling it or monitoring their productivity and so on. But once we got you know the CurrentWare system installed that obviously opens the door to our ability to control the equipment make sure people are you know being productive, what kind of applications they’re running, how long they’re running them you know they’re doing any web browsing, where they’re browsing so and so forth.

Then the reports that are in the system are very in-depth; they show exactly what we wanted to know so we were always tight as far as having remote access up until we got CurrentWare involved. But we still don’t allow it to you know to the to the full office people because there are some people that have to be here physically unfortunately because of their of their job responsibilities but those who aren’t we provide them with a laptop and you know obviously we’ll put all the CurrentWare systems on and tighten everything down and then obviously they can take it take it off site and work remote though under the circumstances we’ve had you know kind of expand on that as I said but prior to that we’re pretty tight on it up until we got CurrentWare involved

Neel 

Perfect and you know how have you had to adapt during COVID-19 with employees working from home obviously you’re a manufacturing organization so it sounds like some people are still coming in every day but do you mind just talking about how you’ve adapted and maybe what the biggest challenge you’ve had is?

Larry

Yeah sure the biggest challenge for working at home right now in those circumstances is our VPN connection. You know typically prior to this pandemic we would have maybe 5-6 users at a time connected to the VPN but now we’ve got upwards of you know 15, 16, 17 at one time so our biggest concern is bandwidth.

You know how much of the traffic where they’d be you know taking down off five lines and will the firewall hold up I mean you know never really put it through that type of test before. So that was our biggest challenge and it’s worked out pretty well actually we haven’t had any issues (knock on wood) where the system has crashed with that many users on the system remotely. So that probably would be the biggest challenge we’ve had so far other than you know providing equipment getting everything up and running for everyone.

Neel 

Perfect. So yeah it sounds like the VPN constraints are out there for a number of organizations and how have you, you know, changed your configuration for CurrentWare given COVID-19? You mentioned a little bit about the reporting and the manager is asking a bit more about this than previously do you mind just talking about that a little bit? 

Larry

Yes sure so prior to the COVD-19 you know we’ve monitored it from an IT standpoint. You know, making sure people are doing what they’re supposed to do and so on. But now where we’ve got so many more users on there it’s hard for, you know, I have a one person that works for me so we’re a small IT so it’s hard for us to control everything.

So we’ve kind of passed some of the reporting responsibilities down to the department managers where they can go into the console among some of the reports that you know they can do reports in CurrentWare. 

They can see exactly what their employees are doing, the productivity like I said you know as far as what applications they are using, how long they are using them so that that has given the managers the tools that they need, that they were worried about, about you know who’s gonna actually work and who isn’t. So I’m giving them those tools directly has really helped calm everybody down start as you know are people actually gonna be working from home how do we control that – the reports are a huge plus for us. 

Neel

Great to hear. Well you know Larry I really appreciate you taking the time. I know it’s quite stressful for everyone, so you know, glad that you know we’re able to help out how we can and hope everything at your organization gets back to normal soon.

Larry

Thanks I appreciate it Neel. You guys have been nothing but supportive with us since we started. This is probably one of the best systems that we’ve ever invested in. In my opinion it’s done a lot for us. It’s really really helpful.

Neel

Great to hear thanks Larry, perfect. So hopefully that was helpful for you all to know how another IT manager who maybe is in similar shoes to you is using CurrentWare but also configuring his setup and going through some of the challenges related to the current market conditions.

CurrentWare technical demo: Remote workforce management

Now I want to pass it over to my colleague Sai. Sai will be walking through the CurrentWare technical demo setup and talking a little bit about how if you needed to configure CurrentWare you could do that but also some helpful information for anyone who maybe is not using the product at this point. Sai, is your microphone working now? 

Sai

Yep it looks like it’s working so I’ll go ahead and share my screen.  Perfect. Okay guys so I just want to quickly introduce myself my name is Sai I am the product manager here at CurrentWare. And for today I’ll give you a quick technical demo and overview of CurrentWare  

Setup CurrentWare for remote workers

Before we jump into the actual product it’s good to learn how to actually set up CurrentWare so that your remote worker can connect to the system. You can manage them and run reports and monitor their productivity and make sure that their security policies are applied properly. 

So what I have on my screen right now is just a typical router setup page showing you the port forwarding rule that you need to open. So typically it’s actually very easy to allow the remote worker to connect to the CurrentWare system. On your router you just have to configure the CurrentWare ports that we have over here on the right-hand side, there are about five of them to accept and redirect traffic to the CurrentWare server that’s on your network. 

So this router setup you perform on your network where the CurrentWare server is installed and ideally this could be at the headquarter or inside your office and then you deploy the CurrentWare client on to the remote worker’s computer so whether it’s your sales team or remote team. 

And during that deployment you connect them to the public IP address of the network once the connection is established it is a secure connection between the client and the server so you don’t have to worry about security issues there. Now this is just one way of connecting the client. Typically you can use VPN as well but with the COVID situation right now and Larry just mentioning the fact that VPN could be constrained, this is the alternative way of connecting and it has proven to be very stable and a good way to connect your clients.

Introduction to BrowseReporter, employee monitoring software

BrowseReporter logo, remote computer monitoring software

Now once all your clients are connected on your CurrentWare console they will show up like this on the left hand side where you can manage them and put them into different folders. So typically the IT manager from this point can manage the policy as well as run reports on employee productivity based on their computer activities or the device activities.

BrowseReporter: Top domains by browsing time

So for today’s demo I’m going to show you the CurrentWare solutions. On the right hand side you’re going to see four of the solutions over here and the first one I’m gonna show you is called BrowseReporter which is related to employee monitoring and with this solution you can monitor their computer activities or their internet activities. 

So first of all when you’re on a console you simply select a folder with the computers that you want to run reports on when you go to BrowseReporter click run report. From this window you can choose from 20 different reports that you can run. Let me just show you three of them here today the first one I want to show you is the top N domain by browsing time 

BrowseReporter Top 10 Domains by Active Browsing Time report with bar graphs.
BrowseReporter’s Top N Domains by Active Browsing Time report

Ok this report will give you a quick one-page summary of what the remote worker was doing in terms of web activities on their computers so in this sample report we have James here. He’s been on Zoho, Chrome, CurrentWare. These are company related website and maybe in here he’s got one website that’s related to sports so you can kind of understand based on this summary what they were doing throughout the entire week and then compared out to somebody like Steve in the sample report whose been spending a lot of time on Facebook, Amazon, Apple, YouTube or just not working in general. So when you get a report like this you can really understand somebody was abusing their power of working remotely or are they really spending time on websites 

BrowseReporter: Sites visited
BrowseReporter Sites Visited report with sports and entertainment websites listed.
BrowseReporter’s Sites Visited Report

Now if you want to dive deeper BrowseReporter does have the ability to let you see exactly what each website they went to. So over here I’m going to run a sites visited report and then we can see with James these are all the URLs that they’ve been browsing on, whereas for Steve these are the websites, so it’s got all the non-productive websites in there. So typically that’s a website usage report. 

BrowseReporter: Application usage
BrowseReporter's Top 10 Applications by Active Time report
BrowseReporter’s Top 10 Applications by Active Time report

The next report I want to show you is related to application usage so here on the top application by active time I’m going to run a report on another user here. So we got Dave and with the application usage report you’re not just seeing the websites that they browsed on you are also seeing the applications that they were using. So here we got Microsoft Edge, Office, Chrome, Skype so these are applications that are related to your employees that work then you can see how much time they spent on those applications and what the percentage of their workday they’re using those applications.

So it’s a really good way to understand what your employees are doing throughout the day but also a good way for system admin to catch any malicious applications that your employees might be opening, they’re installing anything that’s not part of your application usage policy at work and you can find out from here what those applications are.

BrowseReporter: Email alerts
CurrentWare BrowseReporter email alerts console with an alert configured for excessive distractions.
BrowseReporter’s email alerts setup window

Okay now with BrowseReporter you can also do alerting. So instead of running reports from the console you can get an alert based on websites that they’ve visited or categories of websites that they visited. 

So for example when you create an alert you can say by creating an alert here I can say Facebook and if somebody goes to Facebook or Facebook.com more than let’s say 30 times in the day, send an email to the boss of this company. Okay so this is a typical alert that you can create. 

There’s also ways to create alert based on category as well so instead of a website you could be a group of websites or they go to social networking websites 30 times in the day you’re gonna get an email letting you know so that way if you need to perform some sort of discipline for that user you can do so after getting the alert 

Now the other thing with BrowseReporter is that the reports that I showed you earlier can be sent directly into your inbox using email reports so you don’t have to go to the console, run the report and see you can actually get a PDF file sent directly to your inbox. 

Introduction to AccessPatrol, device control software

Logo for AccessPatrol, CurrentWare's USB Blocker and Endpoint Security Software

The next solution I want to show you is our AccessPatrol data loss prevention solution. With AccessPatrol you’re able to control what endpoint external devices are being plugged into your employees’ computers. So this could be your typical USB flash drive or external hard drive or if they have DVD and other types of USB such as phones, camera, portable devices, with AccessPatrol you can fully control those access and block them from accessing these devices 

AccessPatrol: Track USB devices plugged in
AccessPatrol Allowed vs Denied report with 13 different devices listed.
AccessPatrol’s Allowed vs Denied Access Report

Now the next thing with AccessPatrol is the ability to track the devices that are being plugged into the laptop as well as the activities that are being performed to those USB devices. So for example I want to show you a report here where you’re gonna see Conan this sample user plugging into his computer storage devices that are blocked. So in this case we’ve set up a policy to block USB, we have an allow list where they can only use a handful of company authorized USB that they can plug in, but if it’s a personal USB key it’s going to trigger this report. We report exactly what USB they were plugging in to their laptop 

AccessPatrol: Track file transfers to USB
AccessPatrol's file operations report
AccessPatrol’s file operations report

Furthermore you can take that report and run a different one that shows you what happens within those USB. So Conan decides to copy files on that USB key to his computer or the other way around where there could be a data leakage scenario where if they’re taking company information and then copying it to a personal USB key you’ll see that in this report.

And in this sample report we got three devices: The first two are external USB devices and these are all the files that the users are copying to and from the device, and then the last one is an internal hard drive where if for some reason the plugging in USB that’s bringing in some sort of virus, trojan, or malware and you will be able to see that in this report. And that’s an overview of AccessPatrol 

Introduction to BrowseControl, web filter

The BrowseControl Logo, web filter

The last solution I want to show you guys is our BrowseControl web filtering solution. So once you’ve identified the productivity level of your employees and you want to perform some sort of restrictions on their web browsing you can do that easily using BrowseControl. 

BrowseControl: Block websites
BrowseControl’s category filter can block websites based on pre-defined categories

So if we go to sales here you see the sample users from before the URL filter the way that you can set up BrowseControl there are two typical scenarios. You can have an allow list so these are the only websites that the end user can go to and it will prevent them from going to any other websites, or the second scenario is to have a block list so we’re blocking a handful of websites here that they’re not allowed to go to along with a category filtering list to block groups of websites that are related to say gambling jobs pornography or sports/ 

BrowseControl: Block Windows applications
BrowseControl app blocker console open wiht a number of applications added to the blocked application list.
BrowseControl’s application blocker

Other than the website restrictions BrowseControl  can also block applications as well you want to prevent your users from using their own personal Dropbox application to sync files or prevent them from running windows media or other sort of music or video players on their computer you can do so using the app blocker here. So any windows application, exe or process, can be blocked using BrowseControl. Ok yep so that’s the last solution I want to show you guys I’m gonna just pass it back to Neel to wrap up the meeting. 

Q&A

How does BrowseReporter track when computers are logged off?

Neel

Great thanks Sai so hopefully that helped a few of you who are either using CurrentWare already or potentially looking at it as a solution to help you understand the benefits that it can provide. Now we just want to open up the floor for questions. Feel free to use the chat and I’ll be able to moderate that and answer it myself or ask Sai if it’s technical in nature. 

So feel free to send any chat questions through at the moment. We did receive a few questions earlier by email so I just want to address those first. So one was from Peter at Abacus: he was wondering how BrowseReporter tracks when computers are logged off or in sleep mode or on standby. So Sai do you want to walk through that one?

Sai

Okay perfect yes so the way that CurrentWare tracks the user so if they’re logged off it actually stops tracking at that point because the process is no longer running or if it’s in sleep mode and in this case when the user logs into the computer and opens up a window that’s when it begins tracking.

Can CurrentWare monitor the user’s bandwidth?

Neel

Perfect, thanks Sai. Another question that we received was with respect to – actually we just got a question in so we’ll talk about those so Jason – “can CurrentWare monitor user’s bandwidth?” So Sai, do you want to talk about bandwidth?

Sai

Yep you can definitely do that so we monitor the website bandwidth and the way we monitor bandwidth is we are using a network driver. So it monitors when we go to the website, when they’re downloading a file, when they watch a movie, it’ll monitor them all.

Is there a way for CurrentWare to be used without the employee knowing?

Neel

Perfect then we got a question from Hibah: “Is there a way for CurrentWare to be used without the employee knowing?” Yes, so there’s a couple different ways for our software to be installed: there’s stealth mode or there’s non stealth mode. So depending on what your goals are you can have it be in stealth mode where the employees would not be aware. 

Can you classify websites and applications as productive or not productive?

Neel

Leslie asked the question: “Can you classify websites and applications as productive or not productive and get a report on percentage of time unproductive versus non-productive?” Absolutely! Sai do you actually want to just walk through that from the console so they can see it?

Sai

Okay yeah so BrowseReporter actually has 20 different reports and that’s one of them I didn’t actually show. But when you get a chance to run the software on your computer the employee productivity report is the one you want to use, and then you can customize categories here that are productive versus neutral versus unproductive as well as add domains in here that you prefer to be productive versus unproductive. So that’s definitely possible.

Can enPowerManager manage power policies for remote workers?

Note: Yes, enPowerManager can be configured to manage remote workers through a VPN or port forwarding. See later in the transcript for details.

Neel

Great, we had a question from Reinhardt who asked:  “What about enPowerManager?” Yeah it’s a great question unfortunately the way that enPowerManager typically works is the majority of the features are not able to be done unless you’re on the same network so enPowerManager  from a remote perspective is not one of our stronger solutions if employees aren’t on the same network

How do CurrentWare’s policies get configured if the employee is offline?

We had another question that was emailed in from Alan: “How do policies get configured if the employee is offline?” So let’s – I think they were trying to figure out if the agent was installed, the employees went home, they don’t log in to the VPN, and I push a policy saying they can no longer go to Amazon.com.

Sai

Yeah so typically the policy needs to be updated. So the set up that I mentioned earlier about port forwarding. That’s how you get the client connected to the server and have constant connection. And now that’s how the policy is pushed to the client and if that policy that is pushing the client gets disconnected it will remember the last saved setting. So in that case once the policy is pushed it remembers it and then it will perform the restriction based on what is remembered

How enPowerManager can manage power policies for remote workers

Neel

Perfect. I just got corrected by Larry so Larry wanted to jump in and talk about how he uses the enPowerManager. Larry you are off mute, are you there?

Larry

Yep, I’m here

Neel

Ok you can educate them 

Larry

Yeah we actually tinkered with that because that was one of the things. That one of my pet peeves I always had here and any of my employees confirm this, is I hate what people leave their computers on overnight or their monitors on overnight. 

And unfortunately I can’t do much with the monitor but with the computers I can with enPowerManager. And what I’ve done is we don’t – oh, we don’t use CurrentWare just four laptops for remote users, they are on everybody’s desktop as well. 

And if I find users typically leaving the computers on overnight I’ll set up a power schedule with the power scheduler that it’ll shut off that computer at a certain time or if they’re inactive for thirty minutes it will just power it down and put sleep mode so I definitely use that enPowerManager and it really does benefit us as far as like you know saving computer power and stuff like that.

And it also works remotely any time the user connects to the VPN and we would have changed any of their settings on there. It’ll, you know, obviously push those new settings out the computer once they connect to our network.

And those settings will stay, you know, that way until they reconnect and we retain or what-have-you but so we wanted to put a schedule on someone’s laptop that’s remote all the time and have it shut down at midnight every night once they connect the VPN. It will grab that from schedule and download it and then if the computer is not connected to any network or anything it’ll still shut down at midnight because that’s what the CurrentWare policy has it set on their laptop so I find that feature very very very helpful for us for a variety of reasons.

Can CurrentWare track internal bandwidth usage inside the LAN?

Neel

Perfect thanks so much Larry. We just got a question in from Jason. So Jason was wondering bandwidth in terms of traffic inside the LAN example if I encountered slowness in the network can I pinpoint who uses more bandwidth or traffic. Sai do you want to talk about that?

Sai

Right now our bandwidth tracking is focused on external sources so with websites. We’re not doing any internal tracking at the moment but it is something that we can expand into in a future version because our bandwidth tracking driver is very robust that it can definitely incorporate some sort of bandwidth internal tracking in the future version. 

How can AccessPatrol provide device access when employees are not connected to the network?

Neel

Perfect so we have time for probably just a couple more questions. Reinhardt was wondering if Sai could you show the password feature were you able to provide offline devices with access even if they’re not connected to VPN or the network 

okay yeah definitely so the feature that you’re referring to is for AccessPatrol so it’s like an example would be a lot of your end users in today’s situation they’re working from home but your policy is to block them from plugging in any USB key. 

So in this case if somebody calls from sales let’s say James calls and has to plug in a USB that was given by someone important let’s say it’s a vendor or another colleague or someone that he works with you can use the access code generator, set a an expiry date, so let’s say I just want him to use this code within this week and when he types in the code he’ll have one hour to plug in that USB. When I give this access code to James he just goes into his computer on the control panel, it’ll be a new option to type in this code and types it in and he’ll have USB access for that one hour 

Can I change CurrentWare client connection settings remotely?

Neel

Great just had a question from Jason can I change the user settings by remote software like AnyDesk or TeamViewer 

Sai

Yep you can change the client connection settings so if you remote to a remote workers computer you can go into the client configuration window and change the way that it connects but most of these settings have to be done from the console. So as long as you get the client connected to the console then you’ll be able to update that.

How can I identify high-risk employee activities?

Neel

Okay perfect and last question here is from Sue so wondering about high-risk activities so the question is regarding how to identify some high-risk activities. Yeah so we talked about a few of those throughout the presentation. 

Some examples that we give would be you know auditing the software applications used versus the list of approved vendors so understanding who is using applications that may not be on your list or going to websites that are may not be on your approved list. 

A second would be monitoring out of normal hours activities for any anomalies so maybe there’s people who are using the VPN very late at night or they’re transferring files very late in the evening and it’s usually out of the norm. That could be something to monitor. The other one would be you know large file transfers or active external devices so if there are any one in maybe your high-risk group that are doing large file transfers to look into that.

I think the key here is really defining what threshold you want to set and understanding how you are looking to determine that high-risk because for each organization it’s different we have organizations that are dealing with sensitive financial data, others with healthcare data, and others are monitoring their employees that may not be as sensitive but maybe the finance department is important for them. So all these different elements are different for each organisation and you know if you have questions or like advice our team is happy to assist. 

Conclusion

Neel

So really appreciate everyone taking the time hopefully this was was helpful in you understanding some of the best practices to look at when employees and individuals are working from home or remotely for your organization if you do have any questions feel free to reach out to our team you know many different ways to reach out whether its support or from her on sales side and look forward to each of you getting used to this work from home policy if it’s new for you or adapting to the new environment and hoping that everyone is safe during these unpredictable times thanks very much.

Sai

Thanks guys, take care

Dale Strickland
Dale Strickland
Dale Strickland is a Marketing Coordinator for CurrentWare, a global provider of endpoint security and employee monitoring software. Dale’s diverse multimedia background allows him the opportunity to produce a variety of content for CurrentWare including blogs, infographics, videos, eBooks, and social media shareables.