Employee Web Monitoring Software

Hello Experts,

I need to know if my employees are using the internet for non-work related purposes and if so, what sites they are visiting and the duration.  A quick search on Google reveals a plethora of employee monitoring options - it's quite overwhelming.  Perhaps someone can recommend a reliable, fairly inexpensive solution (under $200).  We're running  Win 2008 in workgroup mode with approximately 10 clients.  The ideal product would be invisible to all users at their workstations.  Additionally the product would not require a 3rd party website to access the reports/stats, but rather be accessible from the server or another admin's workstation.  

Thanks in advance,
Who is Participating?
sameer_goyalConnect With a Mentor Commented:
This one is a good tool and we use it for our organization.


btanConnect With a Mentor Exec ConsultantCommented:
The sure approach is to enforce client to direct all web traffic to a central central exit point using a proxy (or leverage on firewall /gateway). Typically this involved configuring the web browser to the proxy IP address. You can state that this is for the seek of monitoring web threats in the traffic , actually you are indirectly also able to see where user are going centrally via web content filtering. Killing two birds with one stone

Some solution include
a) BlueCoat Suite - It can be expensive though as it has an appliance (Bluecoat SG) as the proxy or gateway server. Client end will have Proxyclient installed to enforce the setting. For remote client there is also "free" K9 web protection at client end (free for home use). They have specific Web Filter solution but this may be beyond your needs. The pricing will be high
@ http://www.bluecoat.com/products/sg
@ http://www.bluecoat.com/products/proxyclient
@ http://www1.k9webprotection.com/aboutk9/overview

b) GFI WebMonitor - It enforce an Internet Usage Policy and reduce cyberslacking – time wasted by employees online. Check out the sample policy - minimally there should be such in paper (and as much as possible enforce in s/w instead of manual audit). The user's Internet browser must be configured to use the GFI WebMonitor server as the proxy to enforce web filtering. GFI WebMonitor counts either users or IP addresses for licensing purposes. This would depend if the traffic being processed by GFI WebMonitor has been authenticated or not.  GFI WebMonitor is also available as a dedicated plug-in for Microsoft’s Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server and Threat Management Gateway Server (TMG).

@ http://www.gfi.com/internet-monitoring-software
@ http://www.gfi.com/internet-monitoring-software/webmonscreenshots.htm
@ http://www.gfi.com/internet-monitoring-software/sample-internet-usage-policy

C) WebSense Web Filter - Similar approach as above just that it can be flexible to scale (remove the security bulk unless needed) for small business needs. It is also a on-premise software but for pricing will need to check out, I believe it is license based

@ http://www.websense.com/content/web-filter-features-and-benefits.aspx

Overall, there are many means as you can see in this old (but still valid) summarised strategy below for a more holistic controls to keep in pace with the organisation exposure to threats due to non compliance by user. Note the use of keylogger and related for the stealthy part. To achieve stealthiest is rather hard - in the sense that user should accept the User acceptance policy before using of organization asset, so let them know instead and that would serve as greater reminder (and probably deterence to majority)

@ http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10things/10-ways-to-monitor-what-your-users-are-doing-with-company-computers/192

#1: Use auditing to monitor access to files
#2: Examine cached Web files
#3: Monitor Web access at the firewall
#4: Filter Web access by URL
#5: Filter Web access by keywords
#6: Monitor incoming and outgoing e-mail messages
#7: Monitor instant messages (IMs)
#8: Use keyloggers to capture typed data
#9: Use screen capture tools to find out what users are doing
#10: Control what software employees can install or run
madunixConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I do Squid(Free)! I'd recommend running Squid with Dansguardian ....squid is the best but keep in mind it requires times and skills to install, manage and configure it with other components. I used it in many complex environments with success but again you need  the skill in Linux and squid (open source packages)...

check these documents too

Use comodo DNS,  norton DNS or openDNS services. Run or your clients PC http://www.prevx.com/

also you can check

Block web sites in more than 70 categories, including pornography, gambling, drugs, violence/hate/racism, malware/spyware, phishing
Force SafeSearch on all major search engines
Set time restrictions to block web access during designated times
Configure custom lists for "always allow" and "always block"
Override a web page block with password
Trust the enhanced anti-tampering, even children can't break
View easy reports to monitor and control web activity
Real-time categorization of new adult and malicious sites
Best free parental controls software/internet filter available

Untangle provides a powerful suite of Internet management applications for small-to-medium businesses and education institutions.

IamBigBrother is the leading internet monitoring software available for both homes and business. And when using IamBigBrother, you'll know exactly who your kids chatted with last night and be able to read the full conversation!

REFOG Employee Monitor is the ultimate surveillance suite offered by our company. Having all features of our less advanced products, REFOG Employee Monitor is designed to boost productivity of your employees. The product can watch multiple PCs and workstations at once without leaving your chair. Instant alerts are handy to prevent information leaks the moment they are about to happen

eBlaster spy software is the ONLY software in the world that will capture their incoming and outgoing email, chats and instant messages - then IMMEDIATELY forward you an EXACT COPY.
jumptohighAuthor Commented:
Thanks to all.  You were most helpful!
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