In recent years, particularly after the Arab Spring, the Middle East has seen a surge in the number of people using social media to communicate, relate and break news. The rise of this form of media has seen news open up to a whole range of new platforms.
Considering the increasing importance of social media in today’s lifestyle, less than 30 per cent of large organisations will block employee access to social media sites by 2014. According to technology researcher Gartner Inc. the number of organisations blocking access to all social media is dropping by around 10 per cent a year.
The agency said that it is a 20% decrease compared to 50 per cent in 2010.
"Even in those organizations that (nowadays) block all access to social media, blocks tend not to be complete," said Andrew Walls, research vice president at Gartner. "Certain departments and processes, such as marketing, require access to external social media, and employees can circumvent blocks by using personal devices such as smartphones."
Gartner said that social media environments include mechanisms to collect, process, share and store a more complete range of identity data than do corporate IAM systems. They enable a more complete view of identity, one that extends beyond the bounds of organisations.
Today, almost every individual shares his or her whereabouts on social media. Hence, it is a platform where people can identify and get access to individual details. According to Gartner, collection of identity data by public social media "on a massive scale," enables improvements in "the production of identity intelligence." Such identity intelligence can be leveraged for identity and access management of employees, says the report. Gartner has also identified significant impact of social media on identity and access management.
"Organizations should not ignore social media and social identity," added Walls. "We recommend that organizations ascertain how they currently use internal and external social media in both official and unofficial ways, and look for dissonance between IAM practices and the identity needs, opportunities and risks of social media."
The report also says that, "Employees who participate in online social media continually make judgements about the degree of trust they should place in the platforms and in other participants, and they adjust content, structure and vocabulary to match theirrisk assessments”.
Gartner survey had earlier revealed that 19% companies allowed social networking but only for business purposes. Only at 10% companies, employees were free to access and use social networking websites for personal use.
Identity data and social media platforms can expose organisations and users to a wide variety of security threats, but organisations can also use this identity data to improve support for their own IAM practices and the ambitions of business stakeholders, it was noted.
In US mainly:
54% of business block employee access to social networking sites
19% allow social networking for work-related purposes
16% allow limited personal use
10% allow full use
On one hand we talk about democratizing the corporate environment for boosting the morale of the employs and on the other we are restricting the voice. The solution could be that many businesses can thrive if they educate their employees on proper social media usage and encourage them to network responsibly. What do you think?