IT departments expected to enforce Web 2.0 controls

Even though enterprises recognise the business benefits of Web 2.0 phenomena like Twitter, LinkedIn, and instant messaging, 89 per cent have no dedicated guidelines in place to control their use, reports a survey by software firm Recommind.

A survey last month of 100 UK CIOs and IT directors at UK enterprises with more than 1,000 employees in indicates that although 51 per cent of UK businesses surveyed are aware of the data leakage risks associated with Web 2.0 and social network site use, most still ‘overlook’ the risks posed by an increasingly stringent regulatory climate, and the knock-on impact of investigations and e-disclosure requests.

Just 23 per cent of respondents to the Recommind survey were concerned about their ability to access and preserve information found on these sites, and used with these tools. However, the findings suggest that 70 per cent of firms surveyed believe that responsibility for implementing and enforcing Web 2.0 policies lies ‘solely with the IT department’, compared to the legal department at 17 per cent of companies.

“There needs to be more collaboration between the IT and legal departments,” says Recommind VP and general counsel Craig Carpenter. “Legal departments must become more involved in crafting and enforcing Web 2.0 policies. They are often better placed to understand what information can, and cannot be kept or shared on the corporate network. Simply put, a combination of expertise is critical to organisations’ success in today’s regulatory environment.”

Unless this attitude is addressed, lax companies could soon face “serious problems”, including failure to control the flow of sensitive corporate information, an inability to comply with increasingly common regulatory investigations, and costs when faced with an e-disclosure event, adds Carpenter.

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