We are glad to announce StaffCounter Server (On-Premise) v.6.0 with End-2-End Encryption support. With this update, we continue to improve information security features of the product. StaffCounter solution is the first employee/computer monitoring system in the world that allows to protect and anonymize employees’ data with the most strong GDPR requirements. End-2-End encryption protocol designed in such a way that master encryption key exists only in End-Point computer/device or Web browser of account manager.
For the last year, cyber-criminals succeeded in a few significant cyber attacks by using weaknesses in Windows operating system, and so-called “supply chain” attack approaches. As a response, since September 2021, for the latest Windows 10 version (20H2), Microsoft turned ON by default protection against potentially unwanted apps (PUA) by blocking them when a user is downloading a setup file. Windows defender incorrectly flagged Staffcounter Setup as PUA due to functionality like screenshots, screen reading, and keylogging. At the same time, Symantec EndPoint protection also labeled the SafeJKA code signature as the “WS.Reputation” flag. We have submitted an application of False-Positive detection to both organizations. To change the StaffCounter reputation level in Windows Defender cloud-based Threat intelligence, we also have released an extra update.
For now, we assure you it is absolutely safe to install the StaffCounter Setup file. If you encounter difficulties downloading the setup file
- use the “Allow on this Device” option in the Windows Threat protection dialog.
- add 2 folders to the list of exclusions of the Windows Security Service – Program files (x86) and Downloads
Or add exception via command line:
powershell -inputformat none -outputformat none -NonInteractive -Command “Add-MpPreference -ExclusionPath ‘C:\Program Files (x86)\StaffCounter'”
scroll down and click on “Add or Remove exclusion”
Now verify that folder “C:\Program Files (x86)\StaffCounter\” is listed in the list below –
This material will be useful for directors and HR managers.
All of us have ever been deceived. And even betrayed. Unfortunately, we are often surrounded by people who put their personal interests above honor and conscience. In our case, we will talk about subordinates – employees. The prosperity and development of any business depend on them. Perhaps they are not to blame, perhaps their life forces them to act as they do. Perhaps they can still be re-educated? Let’s try! After all, their professional skills are very important for us!
We start with control
Today StaffCounter is the first solution in the world that offers End-2-End Encryption (E2EE). All of the data captured from employee’s computers will be encrypted and decrypted only for the account owner. Since this update, we hope to start an innovation for the entire industry of computer surveillance. The employee’s productivity data captured from end-point devices will be encrypted before transfer to our cloud service. The main difference with SSL encryption is that data is still kept encrypted when it reaches StaffCounter cloud storage and further, it is kept encrypted even in all types of running instances of the database, execution contexts, and processing algorithms within our cloud servers. When you login into your account the data is delivered to the web browser in initial encrypted form and being decrypted on-the-fly right on the Web Browser page by using the Java-Script program and encryption features of the browser. This feature allows adhering to GDPR compliance by design. Here we explain how to update or install new StaffCounter agent software and set up the E2EE encryption feature.
We have implemented the ability to provide guest access to the department for managers. The task of the manager is to help the director to control the work of departments and assign productivity to programs and sites.
The manager has to register on the server and provide his email address to the director. The director logs in to his account, Settings page, and finds the Managers tab. Selects a department and enters the manager’s email address.
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By default StaffCounter application does not create Application icon in Start menu. In order to install StaffCounter agent app into custom folder and make it invisible, without an icon in “Add/Remove programs” dialog you need to perform the following steps:
Install the StaffCounter on one of the Windows computers as usual. Open c:\Program Files (x86)\StaffCounter and find the readme.txt file in the working folder of the program;
There are two pieces of code in this file. Copy the first fragment into a new text file and name it SETUP.BAT;
We have published a new version of the StaffCounter application for Linux. This version is compatible with Ubuntu 20 and Mint 20. The 18th version of Ubuntu is also supported. For Mint 18 and Ubuntu 16 and older use previous versions of the Staffcounter application.
In the new version:
- Added support of Ubuntu 20, improved installation in Ubuntu 18;
- Added silent installation and auto-connection. Now you can install the application remotely without any external manifestations;
- Improved the auto-connection to the local StaffCounter Server;
- The deb package was improved. Now you can launch it from the File Manager, which makes the automatic computer restart. After the restart, the Staffcounter application will be automatically launched.
We are glad to announce that the StaffCounter app for Android has been published again in the Play Market. In accordance with the requirements of Google, SMS recording and telephone call logging have been removed from the program. However, monitoring of applications and user coordinates remains.
The full version of the StaffCounter for Android can be downloaded from our website >>
If you need advanced features like invisibility, call recording (both GSM and VoIP), photos from the camera, SMS, then you can use the PRO version for Android, which is available for all the users to test.
The users with Professional subscriptions can use it without restrictions.
Because of Pandemic and remote work, User Activity Monitoring and Time-Tracking solutions start being used more intensively by the corporate customers to manage a remote workforce. As a result, the most popular Time-Tracking SaaS solutions may be targeted by Malware, Cybercriminals, or Insider threats. As a response, we would like to announce the end-to-end encryption feature soon will become available for all StaffCounter customers. With “end to end” Encryption enabled, the data will be encrypted by StaffCounter Agents before upload to the staffcounter.net cloud and then decrypted in your web browser right in a moment when you are looking at the reports or employee productivity data. This provides the highest privacy level since data delivered to the cloud storage in encrypted form. By using this principle employed in our cloud storage, technically we will not be able to read and understand productivity data received from computers by any means, on any level. This will enable safe usage of Employee Monitoring (User Behavior Analysis) solutions in any environment, even with the most strict compliance and security policies and requirements. After this feature will be enabled by the customer, StaffCounter.net or StaffCounter On-premise server will store only encrypted data blocks for each computer or employee.
Further details will be added to this announcement soon.
Working from home (WFH) or remote-work has been known only as exceptional practice in the workplace until the COVID-19 pandemic shifted the attitude significantly. From the point of view of employees, remote work is often associated with the perceived increase of job satisfaction, for example by working from any location around the world (freelancers), by having an individual work environment, or by having more trustful relationships inside the company. From the point of view of management, remote employees bring great managerial issues like loss of control. Today top management is still skeptical about remote workers because they question the ability of their staff to handle remote infrastructure, take responsibility for confidential data, solve any situation independently and manage their time or work properly without supervision. But the latest developments in the Surveillance economy bring fresh solutions. Properly selected “Security as a Service” tools (SECaaS or SaaS) are able to cover distributed end-points into a single virtual dashboard, capture new kinds of productivity data, and thus allows better control and decision-making over a remote workforce.