Protect Your Business from Social Network-Related Security Threats with The Office Software (theOS)

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A new study shows a 70% increase in the number of companies reporting spyware and malware attacks via social networks in 2009; companies name Facebook as the largest security threat of the social networks. Pandora Corp's The Office Software (theOS) can monitor employee PC usage, keep security threats at bay, protect corporate assets and eliminate cyberslacking all at once.

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Managers and business owners need to be able to see how their employees are using company machines. If there is a major data leak or a simple virus infection, being able to trace the source can be invaluable in rectifying the situation.

There is no doubt social networking is here to stay. But according to a new study from Sophos, what started out as just another concern for wasted time has now turned into a full-fledged security threat to businesses.

The study conducted in December 2009 showed a "70% rise in the proportion of firms that report encountering spam and malware attacks via social networks during 2009." Over half the companies in the survey said they had received spam via social networking sites; over a third report having received malware.

Numbers like these are the reason why over 72% of companies feel their businesses are at risk when employees are active on social networking sites. And when asked what they feel the biggest threat of the social networking world is, companies responded "Facebook" loud and clear, giving it 60% of the threat pie.

"Americans of all ages have embraced social networking," says Pandora Corp. co-founder James Leasure. "But accessing those websites from the office can open the door for internet-related security threats."

But spyware and malware aren't the only threats at hand; data leaks can destroy a company. Criminals have taken note of the public's infatuation with social networking and are using it to harvest sensitive corporate and personal information. In 2009, companies and institutions of all sizes and types reported data leaks.

"Businesses are struggling to find a way to create a positive atmosphere in the office," explains Leasure. "For most, that translates into the freedom to check and update social networking pages at work. But companies need a way to protect themselves from security threats that sites like MySpace and Facebook pose."

The outright blocking of social networking websites is impractical for many of today's companies, as many have embraced Web 2.0 technology to help market and advertise their products and services. Thus, companies also need a way to prevent cyberslacking, while making sure access is available to those who need it.

"This quandary is just one of the many important reasons we created The Office Software," states Leasure.

The Office Software is a multi-functional office productivity tool designed to help managers of small and medium-sized business achieve increased productivity and enhanced security. The program allows managers to analyze activities performed by employees by tracking computer usage at a group and/or an individual level, cross-reference activities reported by an employee, and access an employee's desktop in real-time. TheOS also has the ability to block websites and mark others as "timewasters" to help manage time spent on non-work-related websites like Facebook and MySpace.

"Managers and business owners need to be able to see how their employees are using company machines," says Leasure. "If there is a major data leak or a simple virus infection, being able to trace the source can be invaluable in rectifying the situation. The Office Software is specifically optimized for multiple-user environments where traditional monitoring software like our own PC Pandora might not be the perfect solution."

When it comes to data leaks, companies need to be especially cautious about their intellectual property, the lifeblood of a company. This could be in the form of sensitive customer data or company secrets. According to a 2007 survey by the Enterprise Strategy Group, 32% of companies surveyed reported losing intellectual property within the 12 months prior to the survey. Add that statistic to the fact that 80% of computer-related crime related to businesses is performed by "insiders," and it's very easy to see why monitoring employee activity is essential in the interest of security.

"Imagine what could happen if a disgruntled or terminated employee sent your customer data, client lists, mailing lists, project timelines or other valuable property to a competitor," says Leasure. "The Office Software gives you a step up and provides you with the knowledge you need to stop a leak before it gets serious."

While social networking has become a part of most everyone's daily lives, it can indeed have negative effects on companies. From employee productivity to breaches of security, employers need an effective solution to allow their employees a certain freedom on the Internet, while keeping threats at bay and cyberslacking to a minimum.

"When you use a program like The Office Software," Leasure concludes, "you'll be able to eliminate cyberslacking and protect your company's assets at the same time."

For more information on The Office Software and to learn how it works, visit http://www.theofficesoftware.com

System Requirements: The Office Software requires Windows Vista, Windows XP or above; Microsoft .NET 2.0 framework (available with theOS installer). an Intel or AMD processor running at 1GHz or faster (dual core recommended for Dashboard); 512M RAM for Agent, 1GB RAM for Dashboard; 40MB of HDD space for the installation; 10M - 15M of hard disk space for a typical day of recording; an Internet Connection (dial-up modem, cable modem or DSL) for program registration; Administrative or Power User access rights to install the software. Agent (employee) computers require a LAN connection to the Manager computer.

About Pandora Corp.: Formed in 2005, Pandora Corporation has one goal - to help our customers monitor, control and protect their families, their businesses and themselves online. Pandora Corporation's flagship PC Pandora monitoring software is an essential tool that helps parents keep their children safe from predators and cyberbullies, while shielding them from potentially harmful or mature content. Pandora Recovery is a free data recovery tool that allows users to recovery lost and deleted files from NTFS and FAT-formatted drives. The newest product, The Office Software (theOS), allows employers to monitor employee computer and internet activity, thereby increasing productivity and protecting company assets.

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Ken Shallcross
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