Review: Blackbox Security Monitor

Blackbox Security Monitor is a free tool that serves as a watchdog on your network; reporting and warning the administrator of certain activity.

Computer security is a critical issue for nearly every company on the planet. Being able to monitor PCs is often one of the most challenging aspects of this task. What do you monitor? Is there a line you cross that breaks a corporate policy? Do you need to capture screen shots of an employee's desktop? Do you need to run a keylogger? These and so many more issues are very delicate within a company.

But it's nice to know, when you need to address these issues, there is a tool out there that can handle it. Blackbox Security Monitor is a free monitoring tool that can serve as a watchdog on your network; reporting, monitoring, alerting, and warning the administrator of certain activity.

System requirements

  • Product: Black Box Security Monitor
  • Vendor/Developer: ASM Software
  • Operating System: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2003, 2000
  • Recommended screen resolution: 1280x800 or higher
  • Disk space required: 40MB minimum, 1GB per monitored computer recommended
  • Cost: Free

Who's it for?

Blackbox Security Monitor is for anyone that needs to monitor basic information/status of a particular machine on a network or monitor for other activity that might go against company policy (or other policies for that matter). If you need to monitor a users' Web activity, which applications a user is using, what searches the user is running, this is the application for you.

What problem does it solve?

Blackbox Security Monitor simplifies the challenging task of having to monitor the activity of a machine on your network. With this tool you can watch just about anything anyone is doing on any machine - so long as you have added said machine to the monitor.

Key features

  • Monitor every program launched
  • Monitor all websites and searches
  • Monitor computer usage times
  • Monitor all emails sent as well as send/receive on Hotmail/Livemail, Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, and more
  • Monitor all keystrokes typed
  • Capture screenshots
  • Monitor all network traffic
  • Configurable alerts and warnings (received instantly or via daily summary)

What's wrong

The biggest issue with this application is not the application (or how well it works) itself, instead, it is the slippery slope of privacy. This tool should only be used in situations where an employee is suspected of suspicious activity or if there is a policy already in place that allows certain employees to monitor what other employees are doing on their PCs. Monitoring an employee's PC without a policy could spell serious danger for the company. So use this carefully and wisely.

Bottom line for business

If you have the policy in place and you suspect an employee of either malicious intent or wrong-doing, you will be hard-pressed to find a better tool for the job than Blackbox Security Manager. It's incredibly easy to install and configure, and does everything you need it to do and more. Just make sure this is done with a policy that will protect the company (and your job) before you even install it.

User rating

Have you encountered or used the Blackbox Security Manager? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website