As businesses migrate more and more applications to the cloud there becomes an increased need for management and control of employee productivity and the bandwidth purchased from your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Before Web 2.0, when having a web-based application wasn’t even possible, the only real need for filtering internet was to block sites that could cause a lawsuit, like pornography.
This just isn’t the case anymore. Chances are that you already have one business-critical application running in the cloud and with that there is a need to protect the performance and reliability of that application. After all, you wouldn’t want to be denied access from a critical app because Jimmy is busy streaming music videos of his favorite band.
Here is an example: Many organizations have a legitimate business need for employees to develop customer relationships via Facebook but allowing your users to be on Facebook during working hours can be a slippery slope. You may find out that many hours per day are being wasted as your employees play games offered on Facebook.
What can you do? Implement a next-generation firewall.
For the purpose of this article, I’m going to focus on a partner of ours, SonicWALL. I consider SonicWALL one of the leading manufactures in next-generation firewall technologies. They call their technology “Application Intelligence, Control & Visualization.”
Application Intelligence, Control and Visualization enables you to guarantee bandwidth and allow access for some applications while restricting or blocking either specific applications, categories of applications or to block application sub-components such as the Farmville game or file transfer from within Instant Messaging applications. You can even create rules in order to block specific lists from accessing these applications. This is all tracked by logging in to the Application Flow Monitor to see, through real-time visualization, the effectiveness of your new application control policy.
This one feature alone can pay for the cost of implementation in a matter of months. If you’d like more information or a consultation on this technology just give us a call!
Posted by Eric O. Schueler, A+, MCP, MCSE, MCTS, CSSA, ACSP. Eric is the Senior V.P. of Information Technology at HRCT. He has been in the business of providing IT and consulting for small and medium business for more than 15 years.
For more information and to ask questions, click here to contact Eric Schueler.
Hampton Roads Communication Technologies (HRCT) provides quality business telecommunications solutions, like Business Telephone Systems to companies and organizations throughout Hampton Roads, Virginia and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. HRCT keeps your company connected. Call today 757-399-3350.