Social media access creates work for IT staff

IT departments are facing what’s described as “an uphill struggle to regain control of the way they enforce policy and practice within their organisations”, as they face a power tussel against increasingly savvy employees, according to research commissioned by LANDesk Software.

The research, conducted through Vanson Bourne, was carried-out during March 2010: 480 IT managers and employees across the UK, France, and Germany responded. It intimates that many employees now see themselves as ‘their own IT manager’ – a situation that has the potential to cause a range of problematic issues for organisations, where end-users increasingly download new software add-ons, which can expose businesses to new security threats.

Despite the fact that the majority of enterprises polled say that they have strict policies around the use of social media (73 per cent) and Internet downloads (89 per cent) in place, the study showed that 33 per cent were unsure that these were being adhered to. Indeed, 55 per cent of employees surveyed by LANdesk admitted to downloading software from the Internet to a corporate computer; 48 per cent of those downloads were found to be non-work related, leading to a quarter of employees needing to contact IT helpdesks to fix resulting problems, thus creating additional and unplanned-for demands on IT staffs’ time.

The study found that 58 per cent of staff admitted to posting company information on social media platforms, creating additional security challenges through the potential loss or leak of sensitive information.

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