NIH Tracking Employee Internet Use

The National Institutes of Health (HIH) has signed a two-year deal with Websense to manage Internet access for NIH’s more than 40,000 nationwide employees. The Websense software will block certain access to certain Web sites, such as gaming and pornography destinations, and limit employees’ personal time on the Internet.

NIH will deploy the software solution, known as employee Internet management (EIM), at its 20 institutes and seven centers, including the National Institute of Drug Abuse, National Institute of Mental Health, Center for Scientific Review and Center on Minority Health and Health Disparity.

Under the agreement, the software will also be utilized at the Center for Disease Control and Indian Health Services. The NIH joins a list of more than 400 government agencies currently using the San Diego-based Websense’s EIM software, including the Army, Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Labor.

Government agencies are poised to increase their network security spending over the next few years. According to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, federal spending on computer security could increase to $4.2 billion this year, up 56 percent from $2.7 billion in 2002.

“Even though government IT budgets are swelling, these agencies are still careful to not waste valuable resources, such as bandwidth and productivity, which can be sacrificed when employees spend too much time on the Internet for non-work-related purposes,” said Bill Goldbach, Websense vice president of North America sales. “The National Institutes of Health’s recent decision to deploy Websense EIM software, further illustrates the emphasis government agencies have placed on deploying additional layers of security.”

Websense’s master database is comprised of four million Web sites, encompassing more than one billion Web pages. NIH integrates Websense with Blue Coats security appliance.

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