Spector 360 Gives Blackburn Rovers 360-degree Protection Against Internet Abuse
Background: Blackburn Rovers Football Club is an English Premier League team founded in the late 1800s. It is one of only three clubs to be both a founding member of the Football League and the Premier League. More than a century later at the end of the 2008-09 season, the Club spent their sixth season in the Premier League and 70th non-consecutive year in the “Top Flight.”Behind the scenes, the Club operates a Windows Server network with more than 250 workstations deployed in the administration facility in Ewood Park, and at the team’s Training Center and Football Academy locations.
Challenges: With more than 800 employees, the Blackburn Rovers realized the need to closely monitor all internal and external communications across its network, but were challenged by the inadequacy of Web Filtering alone. The club began looking for a PC and Internet monitoring solution when its Web filtering product was up for renewal and had taken them “as far as it would go.” The IT team searched for a product to meet their needs and discovered Spector 360 which “stood out” to staff members. “We saw lots of products with partial solutions but we were looking for one product to do it all.” In addition to addressing productivity concerns, the club was also looking for a solution to help monitor all communications and help ensure compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard. After initial contact with SpectorSoft corporate headquarters in the United States, the Blackburn Rovers became engaged with Snapguard, SpectorSoft’s exclusive UK distributor, which led them through the sales process. “Following the webcast we were impressed enough to commit to a pilot and at that point it was clear we had discovered a really wonderful product, so we took the logical last step and purchased Spector 360.” Today, the club deploys Spector 360 across 250 workstations throughout three different locations.
Solution provided by SpectorSoft Corporation: Spector 360 is the most advanced company-wide employee monitoring and filtering tool available today. It records all Web sites visited, emails sent and received, chats and instant messages, keystrokes typed, files transferred, documents printed, and applications run. Through a first-of-its-kind surveillance camera-like recording tool, Spector 360 captures screen snapshots to visually “rewind and play” in exact visual detail, what an employee does on the computer, every step of the way. It takes the recorded Internet and computer activities from every employee, feeds that information into a database, and provides more than 50 built-in reports and unlimited customization to answer questions like:
Which employees are excessively posting to Twitter and Facebook?
Who is spending time on shopping sites sports sites or adult sites?
Which employees are using chat or webmail services like Hotmail and Gmail?
Who is printing or saving confidential documents to removable devices?
Who is arriving late leaving early or taking long lunch breaks?
If anything seems to be amiss from a “big picture view,” IT can drill-down to reveal highly granular details of events, patterns, keystrokes, screen snapshots, idle-time, and more. Keyword alerts can identify when someone may be involved in activity that is in direct violation of an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) or compliance regulations like HIPAA, CIPA, PCI, SEC, and Sarbanes-Oxley. Spector 360 empowers law enforcement agencies and companies of all sizes to address productivity ethics security and compliance concerns head on, by monitoring the human aspect of computer and Internet usage across the entire organization — day and night, 365 days a year.
Summary: According to Ben Hayler, Senior Systems Administrator for the Blackburn Rovers Football and Athletic plc: “Spector 360 definitely has restored order. Productivity is up… you can see it. Before monitoring we had one person who… especially when their boss was out… spent a lot of time on Wikipedia—anything but work. Now, even when the boss is away, they just carry on with what they’re supposed to be doing.” Hayler said Spector 360 helped uncover the use of proxy servers to get around web filter blocking. “We used to block most social networking sites, now we block all social networking sites. For employees there is no reason for these to be accessed at work.” He also noted that “Spector 360’s Keyword Alert feature is invaluable. On match day, we have about 100 employees accessing one application and we’ve had attempts to hack in—now we use Keyword Alerts to great advantage by entering system commands. If someone tries anything related to a command line it’s immediately brought to our attention.” Spector 360 helps the club stay compliant with the rules and regulation of the worldwide Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard. “Part of the PCI standard requires access to ALL credit card information,” said Hayler. “Because Spector 360 monitors records and archives every bit of data surrounding those transactions, it is a key part of our PCI compliance.” Lastly, Hayler commented: “Spector 360 is easy to install and configure, and pretty much takes care of itself. We found it’s good business practice to monitor everyone all the time. Spector 360 pinpointed a few employees who were clearly abusing the system. Their web surfing habits were clearly excessive… doing it virtually all day long. We also saw some people using very high bandwidth consumption. Spector 360 delivers just like the name says… it provides a complete all-around view… 360-degree protection.”