Optical character recognition, or OCR, is a powerful tool that enables users to perform word searches on information displayed on the screen previously considered unsearchable. Since its creation, the use of OCR has expanded to make different business functions more efficient, employee monitoring included.
Teramind uses its own OCR feature to enhance the applications of its monitoring agent. By extracting text from on-screen content including text inside images and videos and converting that text into searchable data, you can find out what the users are viewing on their screen. OCR enabled employee monitoring broadens the use of the software making it applicable to more than just employee surveillance. Here’s just a few ways to get more out of Teramind using its OCR tool:
When recording, Teramind’s OCR tool automatically analyzes and indexes content displayed on the end-user’s desktop. Then, supports its own set of OCR rules that alert administrators of policy violations based on what it captures. This is useful for identifying insider threats and preventing exfiltration.
When set up, Teramind’s OCR behavior rules alert administrators any time the keywords or phrases dictated in the rules appear on a desktop. Take a malicious, plotting employee aiming to extract legal documents for example. Even if the legal documents are opened as PDFs or image files, the OCR tool will capture their viewing and alert admins. Using the OCR dashboard, administrators are then able to see how many times the documents were viewed. Based on the information in OCR alerts, admins can single out any employees improperly viewing the files and find the insider threat. Identifying the insider threat this way helps organizations avoid costly data loss events and avoid corporate sabotage.
Teramind’s optical character recognition feature relies on two separate functions to operate- the mining and database nodes. While the mining node is responsible for analyzing and indexing text on the screen, the database node stores OCR information and performs the searches. This is what we call session mining.
Session mining saves end-users’ screen recordings which are later processed by the OCR engine. Splitting the OCR feature across two processes lets administrators perform high-speed OCR searches of screen recordings. The high speed searches help save time during an investigation.
For example, let’s look at an employee incident. During the investigation, management may find that evidence of the event was deleted from apps and desktops. Still, the OCR search tool lets administrators quickly comb through previous screenshots and screen recordings to find evidence relating to the incident. The OCR report then shows when the questionable language occurred and how many times it happened. From here, administrators are able to view the occurrences. This process can be applied to any forensics investigation too.
For larger companies and government agencies managing a host of third-party vendors and contractors, using the feature on server-installed Teramind agents works in a similar manner. Admins will be able to use the OCR search and rules feature on vendor and supplier desktops that are signed onto Teramind-monitored servers using RDP.
This becomes useful when investigating users that are connected to your terminal server or session host.
This way, the OCR search function will permit investigators to look at anything that appears on vendors’ or suppliers’ screens. This includes non-parsable data and other information embedded in photos, videos and scanned documents. Once a vulnerability or problem is identified through OCR search, OCR rules notify admins if similar action is taken in the future. This strengthens data loss prevention and makes quick work of data loss investigations for large businesses employing servers to host outside vendors and suppliers. Teramind’s OCR rules allow admins to be notified when risky behavior happens while OCR search makes finding risky behavior on screens logged into the server easier.
Apart from insider threats and internal investigations, Teramind’s optical character recognition helps to ensure regulatory compliance. Using both OCR rules and OCR search allows administrators to see when private data appears on employees’ screens regardless of the format. This gives organization’s using Teramind a leg up in compliance regulation and ensures both company and employee data are handled within regulation and remain private.
Personal identifying information, protected health information and private financial information benefit from this added layer of protection. Consider an employee handling a company credit card for instance. Setting an OCR behavior rule including the card number will detect anytime the full credit card number appears on a user’s screen. Whether it’s an image, invoice, receipt or scanned copy of the card, administrators will be alerted when it appears. The same goes for personal identifying information like employee addresses or social security numbers. Utilizing OCR behavior rules in this way secures private data and helps organizations to avoid costly regulation fines.
A common use case for Teramind’s optical character recognition feature is seen in the HR department. Here, the OCR tool is used to help manage employee relations. Disgruntled employees who seek alternative employment often do so during working hours. Such behavior isn’t always caught using typical monitoring devices like keystroke detection. This is where OCR comes in.
Setting an OCR behavior rule to catch screen contents related to competitors or job searches notifies administrators when employees who are unsatisfied and seeking other employment. Equipped with this information, HR is able to respond proactively to either reconcile the situation with the employee or prepare to fill a soon-to-be vacant position. Being prepared during such occurrences helps the organization overall to avoid labor gaps and toxic employee sentiment.
When applied to employee monitoring, optical character recognition becomes a cost-saving feature that strengthens data loss prevention and quickens incident investigations. Aside from its uses in managing data handling, it also acts as a resourceful tool for maintaining employee relations. These are just five of the ways to use Teramind’s OCR feature. Once set up, the applications for OCR may take your employee monitoring software even further.