CIOs To Leverage Social Media For Monitoring Staff

by CXOtoday Staff    May 30, 2012

More companies will use social tools to monitor employees for potential security breaches, according to research firm Gartner. The study noted that by 2015, 60 percent firms are expected to implement a structured approach to monitoring security breaches on social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

The Gartner study also revealed that at present many companies have engaged in social media monitoring as part of their online brand building and marketing exercise, but less than 10 percent are using social monitoring techniques for security issues.

According to Andrew Walls, Research Vice President - Gartner, “In most cases, it is the employees with legitimate access to enterprise information assets who are involved in security violations. Therefore, security monitoring and surveillance must follow enterprise information assets and work processes no matter whichever technical environments are used by employees to execute work.”

Wall also pointed out that the challenge lies with the CIOs/IT managers to effectively use the right surveillance tools and methods for producing large volumes of irrelevant information. For example, Gartner recommended that CIOs/IT managers should monitor employee accounts to find out breaches such as posting videos of inappropriate activities within corporate facilities, or leaking confidential information.

Conversely, the research also emphasised that monitoring an employee’s social media account can expose a company to serious legal concerns. For instance, a manager checking an employee’s Facebook or LinkedIn profile to view his personal posts regarding sexuality or religion can strongly infringe his privacy and may even lead to suing the company in extreme cases. Walls said that these conflicts were highlighted by a few organisations where it was alleged that CIOs/IT managers are spying on employees, while requesting Facebook login information from job candidates.

Gartner noted in such a scenario, a contracted third party can step in for effective review and monitoring even though the whole concept of social monitoring is in a nascent stage until now. The analyst firm also cautions organisations crossing their limits and covertly monitoring IT staff that should regulate their security actions to minimise any negative impacts on their organisations while monitoring employees on social media for security breaches.