The Goldilocks Zone of Content Restriction: Not too wide, not too narrow, but just right

Do you need to restrict content for your employees? Or can you allow them complete and free access to the worldwide web? There’s simply too much information out there, which can result in distraction and lowered productivity. At the same time, too many restrictions can make your team feel suffocated!

It’s important to strike a balance between allowing your team to access the information they need or may need, and keeping your company’s reputation clean by blocking illicit, illegal or unnecessary material. 

Here’s a quick ready reckoner to help you plan your company’s content restriction strategy.

What content do you really need?

Let’s say your organization works in the e-learning space. Your team will need to use the internet to better understand some of the content inputs that they’ve received from their client. They’ll need to watch YouTube videos on how to create specific interactive elements. They may need to read technical papers on gamification and game-based learning, in order to stay updated and create content that will make an impact. They’ll also need to refer to material created by competitors, including promotional material put up by them on social media, to position the client’s product in the available learning gaps. These are essential content categories that the employee must be able to access.

The Goldilocks Zone of Content Restriction: Not too wide, not too narrow, but just right

What content might you need?

Many employees find that they are more effective if they work while listening to music. For their safety, it’s important to allow them access to the news and local weather updates. You could consider a midway solution by allowing access to audio-only music options, and restricting access to reputed news sites alone – and the amount of time that employees can spend on the site.

Perhaps the most controversial content category is viral social media. Would it help your team to be able to include the latest viral moment in the e-learning content, to keep it relevant and topical? If so, how do you allow access to viral content without losing employee productivity? Can you put a time cap on certain applications or websites? 

The Goldilocks Zone of Content Restriction: Not too wide, not too narrow, but just right

What content do you definitely NOT need?

Access to personal email is a security risk as much as a productivity issue. 

Entertainment content can waste a great deal of time and company bandwidth. 

Illegal or illicit material found on official systems and networks can also impact your company’s reputation.

The Goldilocks Zone of Content Restriction: Not too wide, not too narrow, but just right

Can this be controlled by blacklisting certain URLs?

No, unfortunately not! 

A lot of the video content your employees may need is on YouTube. So is a lot of the content that they don’t! Similarly, personal email may be accessed through the same URL as professional email. 

Not to mention that blacklisting thousands – or even millions – of URLs is simply impractical. A more refined solution is required.

The Goldilocks Zone of Content Restriction: Not too wide, not too narrow, but just right

Whitelisting specific content categories

The kinds of content that you want to allow your team to access depends on the kind of work your company does. Each category of employee will also need different kinds of content access. 

Open source content categorizations for websites and video streaming portals are available online. It is possible to restrict access to content – whether on YouTube or on the internet at large – based on this categorization.

This makes for a much more relevant form of content access control, with necessary content types remaining accessible while irrelevant content is blocked. This helps to save company bandwidth and unproductive employee time.

The Goldilocks Zone of Content Restriction: Not too wide, not too narrow, but just right

Wondering how to create content restrictions for your business? Allow our experts to help you. You can set up personalized content filters with Akku, a 100% customizable IAM.

 

The Importance of Single Sign-on for Educational Institutions

Let’s admit it: schools and universities today are not what they used to be back when we were growing up. Digitization has swept over almost every aspect of educational institutions. Classrooms have become “smart”, with blackboards being replaced or supplemented by LED screens. Students can simply log in to portals from where they can access information about grades, access lessons from learning apps, and more. Teachers don’t use physical attendance registers today; they mark the daily attendance of their students on tablets – data from which triggers automatic, customized messages to the parents of students who are absent from class.

With such revolutionary change taking over educational institutions, they are also under the rising threat of becoming the target of hackers. Therefore, it is important to ensure enhanced security across the network to prevent student and parent information from being exploited. What’s more, there are cases of students themselves becoming hackers these days – attempting to manipulate grades, using their fellow students’ information to bully them online, and engaging in other malicious activities.

Here are some ways in which a single sign-on solution can not only enhance security but also improve the efficiency of administrators in your educational institution.

Easy Provisioning and Deprovisioning

Every year, a set of students graduate and a new set of students are enrolled. This means that creating accounts and providing access to student portals is a never-ending process. More importantly, denying access to a student who no longer studies at the institution must not be overlooked.

With an SSO, administrators can view – in a single dashboard – all of the apps related to a particular user account and take action quickly and effectively without having to provision/deprovision accounts individually across apps or portals.

Instant Access to all Apps

A survey conducted in the USA showed that 25% of class-time is spent in troubleshooting and teachers trying to help students log in to their respective learning applications. In most cases, the use of multiple applications, and therefore multiple credentials, is the main problem here.

A single sign-on solution, as the name suggests, eliminates the need for multiple credentials, and with it, reduces the time taken to remember and correctly enter them. This also reduces the number of stray passwords, prevents users from writing down passwords and using other methods to remember credentials that are prone to compromise, and also reduces the time taken in resetting forgotten passwords.

Secure Password Policy Enforcement

Students of today may be sharp, but technology is sharper and acts as a double-edged sword. This is why, when it comes to protecting your network from brute-force attacks and other modern security threats, a strong password policy is essential. After all, a compromised password of a student could compromise the security of the entire network in more ways than one.

An SSO typically acts as the identity provider (IdP) to all the applications or portals used within the institution and, therefore, can be used to set up and enforce a strong password policy. This will ensure that passwords created by users of the institution’s applications meet a certain set of requirements with regard to length and complexity.

SSO and Beyond – Akku

Akku, by CloudNow, is an identity and access management solution that includes a powerful SSO functionality. But SSO is only one of many in a slew of features packed into this IAM solution.

Akku can also help you ensure safer interactions on the internet with filters, harness the power of YouTube for teaching/learning, use multi-factor authentication to restrict access to confidential data and more.

For more information on what Akku can do for your institution, get in touch today!

Why Blocking Personal Emails in the Workplace is Essential

Your employees accessing their personal email at work for a few minutes in a day sounds harmless enough. But access to personal email in the workplace is in fact a potential hazard to company data, security, and productivity for a number of reasons.

Continue reading Why Blocking Personal Emails in the Workplace is Essential