WatchGuard Technologies Targets 'Time Crime' in its Newest Fireware Operating System Upgrade

Up to 80 percent of employee web time has nothing to do with work; 'cyberloafing' or 'time crime' can drain organizational profits as much as network breaches

Fireware OS upgrade makes it easy to set time and data quotas; also includes ability to set policies using names not numbers so "216.176.177.72' is now 'http://icanhas.cheezburger.com/'

RSA Conference, San Francisco, CA, April 23, 2015WatchGuard® Technologies, a global leader in multi-function firewalls, today announced the newest version of its agile Fireware® Operating System, which makes it easy to control the amount of data employees have access to, including when and for how long. Given that up to 80 percent of employees' time on the Internet each day has nothing to do with work,¹ it's estimated that organizations lose as much as $4,500 per employee every year due to "cyberloafing" or "time crime."²

"Most companies realize that employees perform better with a breather and limited non-work-related activity, but the key is to find a balance between the two," said Brendan Patterson, director of product management for WatchGuard. "Our newest version of Fireware OS, 11.10, makes it easy for IT pros to find the right mix by setting time and data quotas to ensure employees are happy without compromising productivity."

Fireware's new quota capabilities also extend to WatchGuard's guest access features. This allows hospitality and retail organizations to set parameters for guest access - ensuring no one guest can negatively affect the performance of the network for others.

The value is already clear for beta customers of the new Fireware OS upgrade. "It's excellent," said Jack Estes, managing partner at Aegis Technologies Partners. "For a relatively small company, this had immediate impact on productivity."

In addition to the time and data quota features, the new software also allows network administrators to set policies for websites using names not numbers, including a "wildcard" ability to conveniently cover multiple domains with one policy.

"Using names not numbers is not only easier and more intuitive for IT pros to set policies, our wildcard functionality means they can catch all IP addresses within a given domain without having to set policies for each one," said Patterson. "A good example would be icanhas.cheezburger.com, memebase.cheezburger.com, failblog.cheezburger.com, it goes on and on. Having that wildcard ability to collectively capture all those sites gives the IT pro tons of efficiency in putting policies against particular groups of websites."

Patterson adds that Fireware's names not numbers functionality also takes considerably less processing power than competing solutions because WatchGuard does not do a reverse look up during each transaction to update IP addresses. "While our solution has the processing horsepower, it's not necessary to waste it on this function. WatchGuard's approach is a much more efficient use of resources," notes Patterson.

WatchGuard Fireware 11.10 is available for all WatchGuard XTM and Firebox network security appliances, and is available to customers starting in April 2015. For complete feature information please click here.

For additional statistics on cyberloafing at work, download the WatchGuard infographic today.

¹ Kansas State University, Computers in Human Behavior, January 2013
² Learnstuff.com, Social Media At Work, October 2012