Businesses fail to address social network usage

In a recent survey of 106 information security professionals, SAI Global found that social media use for business purposes is high, with 62% of employees currently using the technology, despite many organisations banning the use of social media outright.

Just 34% of employees had received training to raise awareness of the risks and issues involved in using social media, which could leave organisations exposed to further risk

Seventy-four percent of organisations have policies in place addressing the use of social media in the workplace. However, in 66% of organisations, these policies were not supported by any known awareness or training initiatives that addressed how social media should be used.

Commenting on the survey results, Iain McLeod, SAI Global's head of compliance for EMEA, said that many respondents said that their existing company policy was a complete ban on the use of social media in the workplace. "The survey demonstrates that employee use of social media is high, whether organisations like it or not, and it is essential that guidance and best practice is communicated to staff, so that they know how to avert issues and limit the organisations exposure to risk", he said.

According to McLeod, recent media coverage focusing on inappropriate use of social media has highlighted how quickly issues can get out of hand and cause embarrassment for both individuals and companies.

The report notes that 81% of organisations – which had social media policies in place –- said that the policy addressed both personal and business use, which demonstrates that companies are starting to approach the issue of social media usage.


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