WebSpy Vantage 3.0

Business benefits from monitoring and reporting on Internet, email and network log files

In previous blogs I have covered why internet access is so important in the workplace, why blocking and filtering should be minimized, and why monitoring is preferred. Today I thought I’d focus on the specific benefits of monitoring and reporting on log files.

To some it might be obvious, but plenty of search queries used by visitors coming to our site contains phrases such as; “Why monitor internet usage important” and “Why analyze log files”.

Majority of benefits directly relate to the network device being monitored so I will structured the business benefits based on this.

Web Proxy Servers

Web proxy servers maintain log files listing every request, from outgoing traffic, made to the proxy server. By monitoring and reporting on log files from web proxy servers you will be able to identify aspects such as: who is accessing external sites, what sites are being accessed, when the sites were accessed, how much time was spent on the sites, how the user navigates through the sites, what page or search phrase referred the user to the sites, and the type and size of data downloaded from the sites. Use this information to:

Web Servers

Web servers maintain log files listing every request from incoming traffic made to the server. Reporting on these log files can tell you: who is accessing the internal site, what pages are being accessed, when the pages were accessed, how much time was spent on each page, how visitors navigated through the pages, what site or search phrase referred the visitor to the site, and the type and size of data downloaded from the site. Use this information to:

Email and messaging

Every time an email or messaging server sends or receives information they store log files containing data about the sender, the receiver, timing of delivery or receipt, subject line, size of attachment and, depending on the server, name of attachment and content of message. Use this information to:

Network and security devices

Network devices, such as switches, routers and proxies, and security devices, such as firewalls, anti-virus, spyware and spam applications, store log files containing data about network activity and the external and internal traffic that has been blocked or filtered. Use this information to:

Event logs

Designed to provide an audit trail of system use, event logging records the actions that occur within the system, such as users logging in, failure of a component to start, or an attempt to print a document.

Every event that occurs across a network can be recorded in an event log file. The list of events that are recorded by default can be modified to reflect the needs of the organization’s system. Use this information to:

Hopefully this will give readers a better understanding of the benefits involved. Perhaps it can be helpful when explaining to employees / employer why and how your Internet and network resources need to be monitored and reported on.

See also: