SOURCE: Marshal

March 11, 2008 09:20 ET

Tracking Presidential Primary Results on Web Can Cost Businesses Millions

Companies Can Curb Excessive Web Browsing and Minimize Risk Through Technology

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - March 11, 2008) - The presidential primaries could cost many companies dearly in lost productivity if their employees visit the Web frequently during work hours to keep up with the results, according to Steve Sheinbaum, Vice President Americas at Marshal, a global leader in Content Security across multiple protocols. To illustrate, in an average-sized company of 1,000 employees if each employee wastes just 20 minutes per day on non-business Internet use, it can cost the company 86,600 hours of lost productivity per year. Based on an hourly rate of $17.75 for the average wage of the US worker, this would equate to more than $1.5 million in lost productivity.

"Tracking the presidential primaries is just one of a host of special events throughout the year that can attract employees to the Web frequently throughout the work day," said Sheinbaum. "Each minute viewing Web sites for personal reasons is a minute of productivity lost to the company."

Today's Web presents a variety of daily distractions to employees and risks to companies. News sites, Web 2.0 sites, online videos and blogs provide a continuous stream of rapidly changing content that draws employees during work hours. Unmanaged Internet access can be a serious drain on productivity and much more difficult to detect than, for example, excessive personal long distance telephone calls. It also has the added risks of providing a vulnerable entry point for viruses, spyware and pornography, and is a conduit for company-confidential data leakage.

While many companies have formal Acceptable Use Policies that set corporate standards and expectations for appropriate Internet, email and company resource usage, these policies often fall short of solving the problem. All too often employers simply print out the rules and ask employees to sign a document without adequate training or consistent enforcement.

"Giving employees access to the Internet is important to most businesses today," said Sheinbaum. "The trick is to differentiate business Internet use from personal use and to be able to strike a balance, while minimizing the risk to the company."

This balance can be achieved through managed Web browsing to control how employees use the Internet during work hours. It is important not only for protecting against the cost of unmanaged Internet use, but also for ensuring that work-related Internet access is safe from offensive material and dangerous content. It also involves ensuring that personal Internet use is moderated and does not pose a risk to the company through lost productivity, exposure to legal liability and loss of company confidential information.

Marshal provides a Secure Web Gateway solution called WebMarshal that enables IT administrators to manage Web browsing and enforce corporate Internet Acceptable Use Policies to improve productivity and reduce risk. WebMarshal can help restore employee productivity potentially lost through non-business browsing with flexible time and bandwidth quotas assigned according to user, workstation or group, in addition to blocking offensive content and dangerous viruses.

About Marshal

Marshal is a global leader in Content Security across multiple protocols, enabling organizations to secure their IT environment, protect against threats and comply with corporate governance needs. Marshal provides customers with a complete portfolio of policy-driven Email and Internet solutions that integrate content filtering, compliance, secure messaging and archiving. Forty percent of the Global Fortune 500 companies use Marshal security solutions to secure their corporate messaging networks and web against internal abuse and external threats such as viruses, spam and malicious code. More than seven million users in 18,000 companies worldwide use Marshal solutions to protect their networks, employees, business assets and corporate reputation and to comply with corporate governance legislation requirements.

Marshal is headquartered in Atlanta (USA) and London (UK) with further offices in Paris (France), Munich (Germany), Johannesburg (South Africa), Houston (USA), Sydney (Australia) and Auckland (New Zealand). More information is available at www.marshal.com.

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