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Windows on the Web
-- by James E. Powell
The days of using your company's T1 connection to surf for supermodels or browse for beefcake may be ending. A new crop of software designed to track employee (mis)use of the Web is helping corporate MIS departments reign in technology-related expenses-especially those related to Internet services. Products such as Sequel Technology's Sequel Net Access Manager and ON Technology's Purview Internet Manager are likely to become increasingly commonplace as companies try to identify the return on investment (ROI) needed to justify continued Internet connectivity.
Sequel Net Access Manager logs all outbound traffic and provides detailed reports so managers can identify usage patterns, configure access privileges and make the most of current resources.
Purview Internet Manager captures all network traffic and records it in real time within a database. Administrators can then run reports to see where their employees are going on the Web, who's using it the most and what they're downloading.
Unlike early products, the new crop of software runs only on the server and is managed by a network administrator. Users are assigned rights based on time of day or length of online connections, types of sites and protocol (for example: HTTP for Web surfing is okay; ftp for transferring files is not)