The latest survey by Gartner indicates that 60 percent of corporations expect to be actively monitoring employee use of social media by 2015--a significant uptick from fewer than ten percent who do so today.
The use of social media has grown exponentially, and many organizations have entire teams dedicated to marketing through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and other sites. Boundaries are blurring between acceptable access for business purposes and access for personal reasons during business hours. Indeed, Gartner's vice president of research, Andrew Walls, observed that "there are times when accessing the information can generate serious liabilities."
According to the Gartner report, many organizations are concerned that employees could be sharing inappropriate content about their employers online, including but not limited to smartphone-generated video clips. Employees may inadvertently expose sensitive information, or disgruntled employees may do so maliciously.
All of this raises security concerns about social media access, which is something of a slippery slope--or at least an untested slope--at present. I anticipate we'll soon be trying to balance First Amendment rights with the rights of employers to conduct business securely.
The newest generation of cybersecurity solutions provide certain safeguards against these concerns, and are worth exploring as a means of protecting employer and employee alike. Following are just a few examples of the new "social security" available today:
- New-generation data loss prevention engines can alert you when sensitive information is being sent outside the organization in an unencrypted fashion, including data such as social security numbers, credit card numbers or proprietary project names, for example.
- New-generation intrusion prevention engines can protect your network from invasion by malware or infections launched as a result of employee visits to designated social sites or other risky sites.
- New-generation rules and signatures databases can be customized to prevent visits to Facebook, MySpace, YouTube or any other sites you designate, even by individual employee IP address.
CloudJacket security is a new-generation solution, and you can prove its effectiveness for yourself by requesting a risk-free evaluation of this 2012 Hot Technology Award winner.
Victor Nappe, CEO
CloudJacket by SECNAP Network Security
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