Posts Tagged employee behavior
Two freedom of information requests reported in the last couple of weeks reveal that in the last few years staff at both the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department of Transport (DoT) have been fired for social media misuse. Whilst the details of the exact circumstances have not been revealed, the UK Government does seem to be sending out mixed messages.
On one hand in its guidance to civil servants issue in May last year it cited it wanted to encourage direct conversation over social, but in response to these recent reports the DWP said that only personnel that had an absolute need were able to use it. Whilst there is definitely an argument for not enabling everyone within an organisation to have access to social media, there has to be a balance of conversation to engage with a community.
According to The Guardian, the DWP has taken disciplinary action over actions on Facebook and Twitter on 116 members of staff since 2009. Most received a warning of some type, but 11 were fired. The DoT, which has a much smaller staff level, had 25 incidents of social media misuse, which resulted in five staff being sacked.
While all employees must behave appropriately and follow guidelines, the immediate nature of social media can mean that sometimes the brain’s discretion filter isn’t always on. Organisations and businesses need to protect both themselves and their employees by ensuring that inappropriate content doesn’t end up online.
A comment made in the heat of the moment, can take on a whole new life of its own. UK PM, David Cameron only joined in the Twitter conversation late last year to a torrent of abuse in response to his first tweet. Wisely did not respond, perhaps as a result of already having to apologise in 2009 when he used bad language just talking about Twitter on live radio, the ultimate real-time communication.
Many major live broadcasts have a few seconds delay to ensure that nothing untoward goes out and enterprises have been using filters in corporate emails for over a decade. Isn’t about time we stopped sacking people for their own stupidity on social and try and provide them with tools to ensure they don’t cause offence in the first place?
We collaborate and communicate with friends and colleagues using social media, but how many organizations think to use it a as a tool to provide vital non-confidential information to employees or to keep track of real-time events in areas where normal communication channels have been disrupted?
I was intrigued to see in our latest customer case study that as well as the expected uses of brand awareness and engaging clients and prospects in conversations, the UK branch of BNP Paribas Corporate & Investment Banking was also using social media to communicate with employees. One example given was relaying updates from the Metropolitan Police during the London riots last year. By providing information of fast moving events over Twitter, BNP Paribas helped employees avoid areas of unrest and stay safe whilst traveling to and from work.
We often talk about using social to build communities and normally we’re referring to interactions between businesses and their customers and partners. Widening that to encompass developing internal communities could have a positive impact in staff loyalty and productivity, both of which have a very tangible influence on an organization’s bottom line.
Wanting to gain a wide understanding of how different groups utilize social media, BNP Paribas involved several key areas of the organization during the trial of Socialite – from IT security and corporate communications, to business users on the trading floor. It was important that while content was controlled and moderated, the user experience was a positive one.
The case study also mentions how social media helped provide information on the status of oil fields during the recent Libyan conflict, demonstrating the power of social media as a real-time source of information, when traditional communication channels have been broken down.
As Compliance Officer – Technology Projects of BNP Paribas, John Ryan says, “Social media is fast-eclipsing other forms of communication for this, and upcoming generations. It’s important that banks keep pace with these changes. My advice to organizations wary of enabling social media in the workplace is that they ensure that the right internal policies and controls are put in place to minimize their risk.”
Building communities is a key part of a successful social media strategy, but it’s important to remember that not all social interactions have to be externally facing.
You know that there’s been a seismic shift in the US Government’s communications strategy when guidelines are published by the government for agencies about how they can adopt social networks to deliver a better customer experience.
We can all applaud the good – when the magnitude 5.8 earthquake shook the East Coast in August, the Department of Homeland security was quick to tweet advice on getting in touch with loved ones via social networks, eschewing phone lines which were getting clogged.
But before we get carried away, we need to put this success in perspective.
Just last week, news was released that Air Force One’s flight plans were inadvertently leaked when a Japanese air traffic controller decided to post them on his blog to show off to his friends.
Who needs Wikileaks when you have to contend with the foibles of your own staff?
The threat of malware infection continues to loom large, as our own Jae found out to his chagrin.
There is no time to be complacent. This is why we’ve knuckled down and begun the process of testing our platform for federal government usage. We’ve kicked of with subjecting Vantage and Unified Security Gateway (USG) to the rigorous tests conducted by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) Labs.
It is with a mixture of post-exam relief, pleasure and pride that we can reveal that (drumroll please…) we have met the initial requirements for Common Criteria IA SL2 and The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2.
The process is by no means over, but we’re certainly well on the way, but it’s another confirmation that Federal Agencies can rest assured that our solutions are robust, enterprise-ready and will do what they say on the ‘can’.
Regardless of media – it could be Jabber, Microsoft Lync or Facebook – we can monitor, track and archive content to protect against unsanctioned disclosures and security threats.
What is YOUR federal agency doing with regard to new communications modalities?
We’ve all heard this saying before and it’s easy to get lost in the bewildering array of communications channels available to us. There’s the usual email, instant messaging networks (Yahoo!, Google Talk), peer-to-peer networks (Skype), enterprise IM applications (IBM Sametime, Microsoft Lync/OCS), and social networks (Facebook, Twitter). And these are just the big boys. There are literally thousands of IM, P2P, and social networks, in addition to those listed above.
To give you an idea of the bevy of tools out there, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) uses over 21 different email systems, but they’ve recently decided to award Microsoft a contract to provide cloud-based email, Web conferencing, IM, and collaboration solutions. Similarly, the US General Services Administration (GSA) awarded an email contract to Google. What this goes to show is that messaging in large organizations (in this case, it’s the government) is starting to move to the cloud as companies look for ways to streamline their messaging systems, improve efficiency, and cut costs.
What with all these communications options available to end users, it’s all too common for folks to use Facebook, Yahoo!, or Skype while they’re at work on company-issued computers. Oftentimes, individuals use a combination of Web 2.0 (think Facebook or Skype) and enterprise (think Microsoft Communicator or Cisco Jabber) applications. The problem with doing so is that it opens up new vectors for malware to invade the corporate network. In other words, there are far more avenues for evil to infiltrate the corporate network these days than ever before.
Thankfully, platforms like Actiance Vantage make it easier to manage the proliferation of communications tools within the enterprise. From blocking virus attacks to managing file transfers to logging and archiving of all IM activities, Vantages provides end-to-end security and compliance coverage for an organization’s unified communications.
We can all learn a lesson from the government contracts cited above. Long ridiculed for being the poster child of bureaucracy and antiquated computer systems, it must be saying something to have two large agencies moving their communications applications to the cloud. Looks like the US government has taken heed of that old KISS principle after all.
application control, compliance, employee behavior, Enterprise 2.0, facebook, Facebook security, instant messaging, Internet security, IT security, malware, public IM, security, unified communications, Web 2.0, Web filtering, Web security
A study released last week by the University of Melbourne’s Department of Management and Marketing maintains that workers who engage in ‘Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing’ (WILB) are more productive than those who don’t.
Well, that’s good news for the 51 percent of workers who access social networking sites at least once a day while at work – not to mention the 50 percent that check their Facebook pages and the 69 percent that watch videos on YouTube several times a day, according to FaceTime’s Collaborative Internet Survey published last fall.
The University’s Dr. Brent Cocker says:
“Firms spend millions on software to block their employees from watching videos on YouTube, using social networking sites like Facebook or shopping online under the pretense that it costs millions in lost productivity, however that’s not always the case.”
We couldn’t agree more. The whole blocking strategy just doesn’t seem to work in the real world.
At the same time, the results of the Melbourne study directly contrast some news that broke in the UK this last week – where students at Bournemouth University have been complaining that they can’t get work done because other students are hogging University computers to use Facebook and Twitter.
Visibility into what employees (and students in this case in Bournemouth) are accessing, is crucial not just to an effective IT security approach, but also it seems to ensuring productivity. If you don’t know that 69 percent of your workforce is watching YouTube, how will you know that’s the cause of your bandwidth spikes? What if you could give them a bandwidth allotment for such activities, and when their quota is reached, its bye bye water skiing squirrel videos?
It sounds like the folks at Bournemouth Uni’s IT team could do with not just controlling the bandwidth taken up by some students, but also the time that they’re allowed to be on Facebook!
Watch this space for upcoming announcements about gaining greater visibility into what’s really happening within corporate and organizational networks.
employee behavior, employee productivity, facebook, Facebook control, Internet security control, Social networking, Twitter, University of Melbourne, Web 2.0, Web security, workplace Internet leisure browsing
Your employees really are on Facebook at work, trust me. And they’re on more than 400 other social networking sites as well. Ok, if you’re one of the companies that blocks the Facebook.com domain you may be saving your company a bit in terms of employee productivity, but from a security standpoint it’s only the tip of the iceberg.
During fourth quarter 2008, FaceTime collected live traffic data from more than 80 mid to large commercially deployed networks worldwide, representing the daily Web-based activities of more than 100,000 corporate workers. In parallel, a large sample of IT managers were surveyed on a variety of topics, including how many Web 2.0 applications they believed were in use on their networks. One-third estimated the number at less than eight.
In reality, FaceTime’s actual network traffic data shows an average of 49 Web 2.0 applications installed in each of the 80 reporting locations. These applications include social networking (with Facebook topping the list), instant messaging, Web-based IM, streaming media, IPTV, P2P file sharing, Web conferencing, VoIP and anonymizers.
IT Estimates (Survey)
FaceTime Actual Tracking Data
Web based IM
P2P File Sharing
What’s an anonymizer you say? For users whose employers block Facebook.com – or gambling or porn sites – it’s a godsend. Where there’s a will, there’s a way – but there’s also a solution for IT to regain control.
Yes, I believe that in reality most IT managers know that Web 2.0 is pervasive in their networks – but what I don’t think they really have a handle on is what employees are doing with these applications on a day-to-day basis. And that’s worth understanding.
We’ll be looking more at what’s really going on in corporate networks over the next few weeks. Stay tuned.
I’m spending the quiet time during the holidays working with my colleagues on FaceTime’s end-of-year analysis of how real-time communications, social media, other Web 2.0 applications – and the malware using these channels – have affected organisations over the last 12 months. We’ll release the full results next week, but I wanted to share some early insights.
This year, for the first time, we collected real-world data taken from our Unified Security Gateway appliances deployed across more than 60 participating global organisations. These companies have opted into a program that sends data back to us, so we can analyze Internet application traffic.
So what did we learn?
Facebook represented the largest single Web 2.0 destination that we tracked, hands down. Maybe not a big surprise, but what I find compelling is that only about one percent of attempts to access Facebook were blocked. It shows that our customers are forward thinking companies that view the use of social networks as positive to their business environment – 99 percent of Facebook visits were allowed by IT policy.
These particular employees accessed 890 different Facebook applications over the past few months. Here are the Top Ten applications that were used during working hours on our customers’ networks.
1. Facebook Chat (messaging)
2. Private Photo Gallery (photo, dating)
3. Wordscraper (gaming)
4. Do Not Remember (drinking)
5. Word Twist (gaming)
6. Are YOU Interested? (dating)
7. Bumper Sticker (just for fun)
8. MindJolt Games (gaming)
9. Slide FunSpace (messaging)
10. (Lil) Green Patch (gaming)
(Sadly my favourite, WordBubble, didn’t make the Top Ten)
This is by no means a statistically relevant sample of the world as a whole, but the data gives us a indication of what’s really happening out there in the Web 2.0 world. And it supports the findings from our annual Collaborative Internet study: The lines between employees’ work and personal lives are increasingly blurred, and employees feel they have a right to download – or access – whatever they choose on their work computers. (I know I wouldn’t feel comfortable working for a company that didn’t let me do this!)
Scarily I have two FashionWars invitations outstanding, as I write this – one of them from a seriously unfashionable, tech geek friend. Si, you’re scaring me. Please don’t do this online, you know neither of us understands Jimmy Choos and the like…
New Research: Tracking security incidents against a growing use of collaborative Internet applications
For the fourth consecutive year, FaceTime has commissioned a survey of IT managers and end users to track the use of Internet-based applications – things like IM, Skype, P2P, social networking and other Web 2.0 apps. We also surveyed employee attitudes toward use of those applications and their impact on IT and the organization in terms of security, data leakage and compliance.
As in prior years, the research was conducted among a large sample of corporate IT managers and end users across all size organizations in North America, UK and Europe. The research study includes compiled data from more than 500 IT managers and end users. The results are quite revealing.
Use of consumer oriented Internet applications has reached 97% of organizations, up from 85% in 2007 and, on average, companies report 9.3 applications in use by its employees on the enterprise network
73% of IT managers report at least one security incident as a result of Internet application usage; Viruses, Trojans and worms (59%) are most common, followed by spyware (57%) for a close second
37% of companies report an instance of non-compliance; 27% report accidental data leakage
IT managers report an average of 34 incidents per month, and the largest companies project $125K monthly to remediate Internet usage related security, compliance and data leakage issues
51% of end users access social media sites at least once per day and 79% of employees use social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, You Tube) at work for business reasons
Sixty-eight percent of IT managers have archiving and retrieval methods for corporate email. About half that many–31 percent–store IM communications. One in four has copies of audio conferences (25%), while slightly fewer (20%) archive corporate Web conferences
If requested by corporate attorneys to reproduce IM communications–in the event of a lawsuit, for example–51 percent of IT managers could not do it. Thirty-eight percent because they have no such capabilities and 13 percent could do it but not in any practical time frame
Unified Communications suites exist at about 29 percent of IT respondent organizations. Ten percent have deployed pilots to a limited number of users, while 19 percent have deployed UC for the majority of their endusers
We’ll be delving into various aspects of this exhaustive survey in the coming weeks, to break down just what this data is telling us about what’s happening on corporate networks and what it means to both IT managers and end users.
employee behavior, facebook, Facebook at work, Internet applications, IT research, IT security, malware, MySpace, research, social media, Social networking, social networking at work, social networking research, unified communications, Web 2.0, Web security, Web security research
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Rafe Needleman wrote on C|Net recently about 11 troubled Web companies and he put
Twitter at the top of his list. Twitter – my outstanding favorite of online
social media tools – I had to catch my breath.
on these tough economic times Needleman shares what investors are saying…we’re
going to lose some good companies, audience love is no guarantee for success, and
profitability and a solid business model are still required. Of course. But death
for Twitter? True, there are other online applications I use that also made the
list – Skype (my preferred IM client), Netvibes (my preferred RSS reader), and
Pandora (my preferred destination for listening to music online) – but I think
I could get by without them. Or at least I’d make the effort.
The micro-blogging site of 140 character text-only posts has become my defacto source for
instant information. And for others as well. As Paul
‘Twitter is the New Blog‘ Boutin at Wired Magazine says you’ll find some heavy
hitters there – Scoble, Calacanis, and many, many others – claiming it’s
because Twitter operates even faster than the blogosphere. And Twitter posts
can be searched instantly, without waiting for Google to index them.
I’m not sure I’d say Twitter will completely
replace the blog, but it’s clear that individuals and businesses alike have
found a place on Twitter. Companies are successfully using it to provide timely
information to customers and prospects, subject matter experts are able to
share their wealth of information, and individuals share
stream-of-consciousness tidbits about their personal lives…admittedly the latter
holds less value, but it can be entertaining!
So if I’m
feeling this way about Twitter, I have to assume other people might be feeling
the same about their favorite social media and Web applications, and they’re likely
using them at work, demanding IT managers pay attention to what’s in use and
secure the environment.
completed our annual survey among IT managers and end users for their opinions
on what Internet applications are in use at work and why. I look forward to
seeing what applications and trends top the list this year – it never fails to
reveal some interesting things. We’re releasing the report on Monday, so be
sure to check back then.
meantime, you might review Needleman’s full list – how many do you think are in
use at your company? Are there any you personally couldn’t live without? Or, like
me with Twitter, might cry a little inside if they were to disappear?
Take a look at the TechCrunch50 overall winner … Yammer.
The company describes the application as “a tool for making companies and organizations more productive through the exchange of short frequent answers to one simple question: What are you working on?“
“The service is free to employees, but companies pay to set up corporate accounts that give them the ability to manage their employees, remove users, and set passwords.”
“if a company wants to claim its users, and gain administrative control over them, they will have to pay. It’s a brilliant business model.”
Not everyone agrees – here’s another view of the story.
From my point of view, Yammer is yet another example of employees going right past IT when they see an application they like, or one they feel they need to work more efficiently. Some call it the consumerization of IT. Whatever you want to call it, the wave of applications that employees bring to the workplace shows no signs of slowing.
- Experience Matters: Working with Actiance
- Belbey Blogs: FINRA Annual Conference 2013 – Part III of III (Ask FINRA Senior Staff, Social Media Considerations, and Communications with the Public)
- The New Frontier
- Belbey Blogs: FINRA Annual Conference 2013 – Part II of III (Cyber Security, Using Social Media Tools)
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