Six times more corporations will be stalking social media by 2015 to prevent security breaches, said a recent Gartner report. The IT research organization found that 60 per cent of companies will monitor channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn to prevent e-threats in three years from now. According to Gartner, many employers already monitor social media, but less than 10 per cent use the same techniques for security purposes.
The research organization reports that monitoring social media could allow companies to identify physical and hacktivism threats, making it easier to adapt their security programs to reduce negative impacts.
â€œThe growth in monitoring employee behavior in digital environments is increasingly enabled by new technology and services,â€ said Gartner research vice president Andrew Walls. â€œSurveillance of individuals, however, can both mitigate and create risk, which must be managed carefully to comply with ethical and legal standards.â€
Gartner reports the information on social media networks can help reduce risk for an organization, such as employees posting videos of â€œinappropriate activitiesâ€ at work. However, information can also generate serious liabilities for employers, such as a manager reviewing an employee’s Facebook profile to determine religion or sexual orientation.
â€œThe conflicts involved were highlighted through recent examples of a small number of organizations requesting Facebook login information from job candidates,â€ said Andrew Walls. â€œAlthough that particular practice will gradually fade, employers will continue to pursue greater visibility of social media conversations held by employees, customers and the general public when the topics are of interest to the corporation.â€
Gartner representatives also acknowledged the rise of social media monitoring should consider the ability of surveillance tools, and problems such as large volumes of irrelevant information, personal information exposure, and voyeuristic behavior from security staff.