Top 8 User Activity Monitoring

CyberArk Privileged Access ManagerAWS CloudTrailActivTrackObserveITTeramindEkran SystemTSFactory RecordTSNiara
  1. leader badge
    The most valuable feature of CyberArk Privileged Access Manager is privileged threat analytics. It's secure and reliable. I especially appreciate that it's locked down and only allows access to authorized components.
  2. What I found most valuable in AWS CloudTrail is that it provides a good context of what's happening in the environment, so it's an excellent way to baseline what's occurring. I also like that AWS CloudTrail helps with audits.
  3. Buyer's Guide
    AWS CloudTrail vs. CyberArk Privileged Access Manager
    May 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about AWS CloudTrail vs. CyberArk Privileged Access Manager and other solutions. Updated: May 2023.
    708,461 professionals have used our research since 2012.
  4. ActivTrack has a range of features, including a detailed dashboard, alert monitoring, screenshots, and report generation. Overall, ActivTrak has worked as advertised, and we're happy. Our favorite feature is probably the alerts. ActivTrack warns employees when they break the rules, which helps us keep staff in check.
  5. ObserveIT is small, easy to use, easy to deploy, and is not complicated, so it's more generally suited for only SMBs. It's a good value with a cheaper price.
  6. Screen recording and keylogging to discover suspicious user behavior is the most valuable feature. Ekran uses a combination of easy-to-analyze video record and searchable text metadata representing activity details like application name, active window title, URL address, commands with parameters, and more.
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  8. We have used the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and Citrix session recording features, and have found them to be extremely valuable.

Advice From The Community

Read answers to top User Activity Monitoring questions. 708,461 professionals have gotten help from our community of experts.
Netanya Carmi - PeerSpot reviewer
Netanya Carmi
Content Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Netanya Carmi - PeerSpot reviewer
Netanya Carmi
Content Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Karin Krings - PeerSpot reviewer
Karin Krings
User at University of Phoenix

Hi peers,

I'm looking for recommendations for software to detect insider threats. 

Where can I find a pros/cons template (customized to an organization) to source insider threat detection support?

Xavier Suriol - PeerSpot reviewer
Xavier SuriolI would suggest statistical methods (including machine learning): First, outlier… more »
5 Answers

User Activity Monitoring Topics

What is a user activity monitoring (UAM) solution?

User activity monitoring (UAM) solutions are tools that provide monitoring capabilities and track all user behavior throughout an organization, including networks, applications, devices, and all other company-owned resources. In today's marketplace, organizations have chosen to execute UAM solutions to keep their enterprise IT systems safe by detecting and stopping any threats, both intentional and unintentional. There are numerous options and methods of monitoring available, depending on an organization's size, company objective, and business type.

How does user activity monitoring work?

A UAM solution's main priority is to protect an organization’s information, monitor compliance, and maintain secure and consistent availability. The UAM will closely monitor all user activity from web browsing, if users have access to sensitive or unauthorized data, and more.

How does a UAM monitor user activities?

Some of the process used to monitor user behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • Keystroke monitoring
  • Screenshot captures
  • File captures
  • Log analysis
  • Video recording of all sessions

Why are users monitored online?

It is important for enterprises to know and be aware of all user activity. Executing a UAM solution will allow an organization to more easily recognize suspicious, unauthorized, or inappropriate behavior. This is done to ensure that any potential risks or threats to the security of the organization's data integrity are minimized. Although some may consider it a form of surveillance, the main goal is to monitor user activity to identify misuse of company assets, determine inappropriate access or privilege, and avoid possible data breaches through unintentional or intentional bad behavior. Any information collected must be viewed within the parameters of the company as well as government policy and regulations. There should be specifically defined protocols based on user roles and assignments to adequately determine if appropriate behavior and activity are being consistently followed. Additionally, what is and is not appropriate behavior is up to the company and how each user role is defined or classified. A company can decide, for example, if it is acceptable behavior for users to visit social media, shopping sites, check personal email, play games, or have access to company intellectual property or financial information.

What is the difference between monitoring and surveillance?

Monitoring is a general process that is mostly systematic, consistent, and constant. It can include passive or active observation of a place, process, or person. Conversely, surveillance is a process that has a defined focus on a direct target to gather specific information or evidence of inappropriate or unacceptable behavior, wrongdoing, or criminal activity.

Benefits of User Activity Monitoring Software

The benefits of user activity monitoring solutions include:

  • Compliance adherence: Many organizations rely on highly-regarded UAMs to maintain government or policy regulations. Industries such as financial, healthcare, or personnel services have very strict protocols on how information is to be sorted, filed, and shared. Ensuring that there is a reliable solution in place to track user activity will provide documented evidence that all users are compliant and that the various laws and regulations are being satisfied.
  • User monitoring: Should a user engage in inappropriate or even illegal activity, this behavior will be quickly identified, tracked, and the software will facilitate the taking of the appropriate action. Users are tracked in real time, and the activity will also be recorded, stored, and logged. This can also be useful in situations of litigations with employees, clients, or customers.
  • Improve employee productivity: If employees are aware they are being monitored, they are less likely to engage in personal use activity during company time, eg. checking personal email, social media, and shopping. This can be a deterrent to employees engaging in unproductive behavior during company time and thus lead to increased productivity. Organizations should be very transparent in communicating to business partners and employees that there is a UAM in place and the types of activities and behaviors the solution is monitoring.
  • Improved security: A major benefit causing organizations to use UAMs is to improve cyber security across their entire enterprise. A highly-regarded UAM will secure all devices and networks, minimize the potential of data breaches and data loss, and protect the organization's proprietary information. The UAM will monitor all user activity and behavior in real time to ensure there are no anomalies or suspicious or inappropriate behavior occurring at any time. Additionally, the UAM will create reports and audit logs that your security and IT teams can respond to immediately.
Features of User Activity Monitoring Software

Some features of user activity monitoring software include:

  • User activity logs: Your UAM should be able to interpret all user behavior and activity into user activity logs. The UAM will log such activities as applications run, URLs visited, all text (typed, edited, copied/pasted), keystrokes, etc. The UAM should also have the ability to sync up with video-type playbacks of any and all activities.

  • Malicious website blocking: You can define which URLs and websites are acceptable to use. You can easily define your UAM to block problematic or unproductive websites, such as social media, online shopping, entertainment, video streaming, and even online gaming portals.
  • Productivity tracking: This feature can help your employees, teams, and departments track performance and overall productivity. This will help ensure that problematic areas are identified and performance is improved.
  • Activity-based alarms: You can choose to have your UAM trigger an alarm when any type of predetermined inappropriate activity is being executed. Such an alarm will serve as an immediate notification when an undesirable activity is occurring and it can then be stopped immediately.
Buyer's Guide
AWS CloudTrail vs. CyberArk Privileged Access Manager
May 2023
Find out what your peers are saying about AWS CloudTrail vs. CyberArk Privileged Access Manager and other solutions. Updated: May 2023.
708,461 professionals have used our research since 2012.