Whether it's to safeguard business-critical data or to comply with industry regulations, digital files are increasingly relied on in paperless offices. This poses a new problem: how do we ensure file integrity and shield unwanted access to the company-owned computers? Just rest assured, this article comes up with several file monitoring tools to keep track of file activities.
Table of Contents
Part 1: What Is File Monitoring?
- MoniVisor: Best file activity monitoring software
- Samhain: Open source file activity monitoring tool
- How to monitor file access in SolarWinds
- Teramind: Free file monitoring software
- Interguard: Make tracking file easier
Part 3: Wrapping Up
What Is File Monitoring?
File activity monitoring (FAM) is a form of cybersecurity mechanism that tracks and records all file interactions on a network. This may include file creation, access, modification, deletion, and even movement. File monitoring tools use deep packet inspection to determine who visited a file, when, from where, and what they did with it.
Best File Monitoring Tools 
In this section, you’ll learn how to track file access and file folder activities. With the assistance of these file monitoring tools, insider threats and unauthorized access to your files won’t be an issue any more.
MoniVisor: Best File Activity Monitoring Software
Scouting for comprehensive Windows-based file tracking software? If yes, MoniVisor could be an ideal option. This is an all-in-one file event monitoring solution for employees. By equipping it with a wide spectrum of features, you can readily keep track of computer activities from every aspect.
Let’s have a glimpse of what MoniVisor is up to:
File activity: Monitor and record common file actions, such as downloading, deleting, copying, editing, printing, and mailing;
Keystroke logging: discreetly track every single keyboard input;
App usage: Keep a record of the specific apps that individuals or employees use, as well as the duration and frequency of their usage;
USB connection: Record external USB activity to limit unauthorized access and prevent data leakage.
Additionally, MoniVisor’s sleek dashboard enables you to monitor the file transferred path, file name, and on which date this file was modified. Now follow up to know how to monitor file activities on Windows:
Step 1. Tap on the button below to register for an account.
Step 2. Access the target device and download the monitoring software by clicking this URL. Furthermore, if you need to monitor web mail transmissions or online chats (Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, or Instagram), MoniVisor offers a free Chrome plug-in. For more information about the setup, please click on this link.
Step 3. Next, choose a suitable plan and place an order. When everything is ready, head to the online dashboard to monitor all file activities.
Step 4. Click File Activity from the left menu bar, and then all file events will be displayed. If you have no idea how exactly MoniVisor can help, please access the Free Demo to see if it meets all your needs.
In summary, MoniVisor is a capable file access monitoring tool for Windows computer. An easy installation process and user-friendly online dashboard makes it a go-to tool if you're scouting for a comprehensive computer monitoring solution. We're sure it won't fail you.
MoniVisor for Windows -- Best File Activity Monitoring Tool
- Track file changes and monitor file folder modifications;
- Keep a closer look at the mailstream mailboxes (Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook) to check email tranmissions;
- Monitor USB ports to delve into the USB connections and activities;
- Record the software usage on someone's computer and show the recently used applications;
- See the internet history in popular browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Edge;
- Remotely and readily access and monitor the computer's screen.
2. Samhain: Open source file activity monitoring tool
Different from the above-mentioned file monitoring software, Samhain is a dedicated host-based intrusion detection system. Why do we need to include this tool in the post? This is an open source file activity monitoring tool. In simple terms, Samhain is a free tool developed to check file integrity, analyze log files, detect rootkits, and monitor ports. Keep reading to learn more about this file integrity monitoring tool:
Open source: The source code is available to everyone for inspection and modification;
Compatibility: It works well on multiple Unix-like operating systems, including Linux, BSD, and Solaris.
System logs: It’s able to monitor system logs so that any abnormal alterations in the file system will be captured;
Flexible configuration: Administrators can customize what, when, and how to monitor file changes or file folders.
In spite of all these strengths, we need to point out that, this file tracking software is made for tech-savvy users. Since its setup involves a long and complicated process, we’d like to recommend it to networkers or system administrators.
3. How to monitor file access in SolarWinds
SolarWinds is another big name in the file server monitoring industry. One of the standout features is file tracking. With this tool, you can track a file’s last modification date, file count, size, and title. The most noteworthy aspect of SolarWinds is that it offers multiple templates to monitor file server performance and generate corresponding reports.
MD5 checksum comparison: It’s able to compare MD5 checksums to verify a file’s integrity;
File server performance templates: Accessible and inbuilt file server performance monitoring templates to track the file activities you need;
Push advanced alerts: It allows for customized alert settings with dynamic thresholds to avoid disturbing users;
Flexible integration: SolarWinds can be perfectly integrated with many servers, such as Amazon AWS, IBM WebSphere, and Microsoft Azure IaaS.
On the whole, SolarWinds is a perfect file activity monitoring tool for large-scale companies. That is to say, this software is not suitable for budget-sensitive enterprises. With the base price at $1813, SMEs can embrace other options to ensure compliance and file integrity.
4. Teramind: Free File Monitoring Software
Teramind is a familiar face in the computer monitoring industry. This software platform specializes in employee monitoring, user behavior analytics, and data loss prevention. Similar to other file access trackers, it keeps a tab on file access, creation or deletion, or permission changes. The hallmark of it is to monitor web files. What follows are some highlights of Teramind; let’s check them out:
In-time notification: When files are moved, including going to cloud space, you get prompt alters about the file activities;
Log files: Once local documents are modified, the action will be captured and displayed via log files and recording;
Limited access: Administrators can limit access (read or write access) to certain file folders no matter whether the files are on a USB, public network, or local disk.
5. Interguard: Make file monitoring easier
Interguard, as its name implies, is a high-quality guardian for tracking file folder events or access. With the main purpose of monitoring employee activities on computers, this tool provides insights into app usage, visited web pages, and captures the real-time screen. When it comes to tracking files, InterGuard gives you a panoramic view of all file activities by creating detailed file event reports. OK, let’s see how it works to streamline file tracking:
Organize file events: This file monitoring tool can categorize all employee file activities (such as print, save, modification, upload, and download) by date, device, user, and URLs;
Flag doubtful file activity: When a certain keyword is triggered, you will receive email alerts with HD screenshots;
File anomaly monitoring: Aside from file tracking, it provides file activity anomaly detection. You can determine whether the activity is acceptable or not.
However, this file tracker has no free trial or demo. If you need to try before you buy, go request a demo. What’s more, the minimum purchase is five licenses.
File monitoring tools are an integral component of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. With the right tools, businesses can effectively control access to sensitive files, prevent unauthorized individuals from stealing confidential data, and maintain regulatory compliance.
The tools discussed in this article are some of the top contenders in the market. For small-to-medium businesses, MoniVisor proves to be an affordable and all-round file activity monitoring software program.
FAQ About File Activity Monitoring Software
Q1. File integrity monitoring vs. file activity monitoring-what’s the difference?
A: FIM and FAM are two practical methods to ensure the security of files. In summary, file integrity monitoring is more concerned with the integrity of files, while file activity monitoring is focused on monitoring and logging user interactions with files in real-time. These practices are often used in conjunction to provide a comprehensive approach to file security.
Q2. How do I check the file activity on Windows?
A: If you need to know if your files have been copied, moved, or deleted, check the "Windows Event Viewer" to view all the file activities.