User Activity Monitoring & Your Managed IT Support Company

When it comes to ensuring that your company’s data is safe, end user activity monitoring is definitely an important consideration. If you are looking for a user activity monitoring (UAM) solution for your organization, a trusted managed IT support company like Contigo can help you keep track of how end users are using your bandwidth so that you can prioritize mission critical applications over recreational ones. Read on as we delve into the basics, benefits, and best practices of UAM.


What is user activity monitoring?

User activity monitoring solutions are software tools that monitor and track end user behavior on devices, networks, and other company-owned IT resources. Many businesses implement user activity monitoring to help identify and halt insider threats, both unintentional and those with malicious intent. The monitoring methods used are determined by the objectives of the company.

By implementing user activity monitoring, enterprises can more readily identify suspicious behavior and mitigate risks before they result in data breaches to minimize damages. User activity monitoring is a form of surveillance but serves as a proactive review of end user activity to determine if there has been misuse of access privileges or data protection policies either through ignorance or malicious intent.


How does UAM work?

The purpose of user activity monitoring is to safeguard information while ensuring compliance with data privacy and security regulations. UAM goes beyond simply monitoring network activity; it can monitor all kinds of user activity, including all system, data, application, and network actions that users are taking. This include web browsing activity, whether users are accessing unauthorized files, and more.

All of the information that is gathered must be looked at within the boundaries of company policy and the user role to determine if inappropriate activity is actually occurring. What constitutes “inappropriate activity” is up to the company and can include anything from visiting personal websites to shopping during work hours to theft of sensitive company data.


What are the benefits of UAM?

Any level of monitoring provided by your managed IT support company can accumulate large amounts of data. The goal of any UAM solution should be to find and sift through actionable information that is valuable in data protection efforts. With effective processes in place, you are able to immediately detect and investigate suspicious user activity. You can also see if users are uploading sensitive information to public clouds, utilizing non-approved services and applications, or engaging in any other kind of risky activity while using your organization’s network or resources.


What are UAM best practices?

UAM is an important line of defense when it comes to protecting your network against data breaches and other cybersecurity threats. Many IT security teams lack visibility into how their users are accessing and using sensitive data, leaving them susceptible to insider threats or outside attackers who have gained access into systems. Some best practices for UAM include the following:

  1. Be open about user monitoring. Users should be made aware of the use of monitoring and agree to have their sessions recorded and monitored. This acknowledgement can be done through contracts or user agreements.
  2. Allow privileged access only to key users who need it for effective work production. Other than that, all other activities not required for the user’s work should be restricted. It is unnecessary and not recommended that you give privileged users unlimited access.
  3. Decrease the number of shared accounts and implement robust password policies. Enforce these policies to make sure that passwords are unique, complex, and never shared or reused. You should also work to be vigilant about identifying stolen credentials.
  4. Create strong authentication procedures for privileged accounts (such as multi-factor authentication).
  5. Manage remote access through company-based protocols. Deny protocol channels such as file transfers between group members, disk sharing, and more.
  6. Firms should establish and enforce data protection policies in addition to implementing UAM solutions. This includes appropriate file sharing activity, handling instructions for sensitive data, and other policies outlining appropriate use. Be sure to educate users on these policies. Your managed IT support company might even offer cyber security training if you are seeking assistance with properly teaching your employees about cyber security.

Here at Contigo, we have some of the industry’s best user activity monitoring solutions in Austin. Our services include network forensics to give you visibility into how your guests and end users utilize your network, cyber security training to keep your employees in the know, and 24/7 monitoring so that we can respond to security alerts when you need it most. Sometimes it can be hard to manage a business and be on the lookout for UAM-related red flags. We get it. That’s why we think that user activity monitoring and your MSP go together perfectly. Contact us today to learn more about our UAM and other IT security solutions.