An Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP) is of no value unless it is adhered to. But how can you enforce an AUP when users/employees/students are independent and free to use the system whenever and however they please?

Everybody has their own ideas on how they want to use computer and internet resources. One employee might want to check his stock options whilst at work. Another might want do download child pornography and yet another employee may decide that she needs to talk with her friends on an hourly basis in chat groups. An organization has to allow some freedom to IT users but it also has to protect its own interests and prevent abuse of the system.

There are various means for enforcing an AUP within an organization. The most commonly implemented AUP enforcement tool is usually an internet filter software product, which intercepts incoming internet traffic and either logs it for later review or blocks it, depending on the parameters defined for its operation. Analyzing logs later can help determine which websites are being visited and by whom, and which of those are inappropriate and need to be filtered from future traffic. It can also reveal which users are abusing their internet privileges, and logs can form a basis for any disciplinary or legal action that may need to be taken.

Internet filters are only one solution however. They do not prevent inappropriate files from getting onto the network from portable media devices such as CD's, USB disks, other external storage, wireless, etc. It is common therefore to implement an auditing software package capable of scanning network resources for the presence of unsuitable files in conjunction with an internet filtering package. A drive cleaner tool such as PinPoint Auditor offers enterprise level auditing, scanning servers and workstations and network storage for inappropriate files.