Big brother in the office

Regional IT vendor NetCare Systems has launched Spector Pro 5.0, which claims to monitor all possible employee activity on the office PC both on and offline, highlighting any improper or suspicious usage.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  June 12, 2004

NetCare System Services Middle East (NCSME) may put an end to wasted staff hours spent playing solitaire and composing personal emails. Spectorsoft’s Spector Pro programme monitors all activities executed both on and offline, highlighting any improper or suspicious usage. Spector Pro 5.0 includes seven integrated tools that record: chats, instant messages, e-mails sent and received, web sites visited, keystrokes typed, programs used, peer to peer (P2P) file searching and swapping. According to the vendor, Spector Pro provides the equivalent of a digital surveillance tape so that you can see the exact sequence of everything employees are doing on the computer. All seven tools work together at the same time, secretly saving all the recordings in a hidden location. E-mails are copied and sent to systems administrators, who are also notified of websites visited by users, chat conversations and application usage. The application provides full coverage of popular web-based email and chat services such as Yahoo and MSN’s Hotmail and Messenger, which have traditionally been difficult to monitor. “Computers and the internet are business tools, and misuse of either has the same impact on efficiency as stock theft and inappropriate use of office phones. Spector Pro provides peace of mind for anyone concerned by Internet misuse by employees. It includes comprehensive screening across applications combined with intelligent and instant notification makes it the most powerful monitoring and surveillance software available,” explains Bala Balakrishnan, general manager, NCSME. The vendor’s Spector CNE (Corporate Network Edition) is a network-based version of Spector Pro and offers all the recording capabilities of Spector Professional Edition and integrates corporate network installation, configuration and deployment tools with the ability to save the recordings over an office network. The application also provides a screenshot facility and keystroke capturing, and logs keywords nominated by customers. Activity summaries are provided on an application-by-application basis, and include a date and time stamp for each action logged. If all the solution’s features are used, a full picture of every minute spent at the PC can be put together automatically, providing employers with the proof of activity they need to take action over the improper use of IT resources. Suspicion alone can neither reveal the full extent of such abuse nor provide an acceptable level of certainty with which to confront transgressors says the vendor. “Equally, the solution can be used to protect recreational users – especially children – from having their privacy compromised by inappropriate material,” adds Balakrishnan. The six-year old NCSME is also offering Spectorsoft’s eBlaster remote monitoring application, which provides the same network monitoring and reporting services as Spector Pro and two additional enhancements. With eBlaster, information is collected and sent in easy-to-review activity reports, which can be sent as frequently as once every 30 minutes or daily. A remote surveillance capability is also featured, which facilitates the tracking of mobile and remote users’ activities.

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