IT departments in dark over social media use

The number of employees using social media applications in the workplace is significantly greater than IT departments assume

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IT departments in dark over social media use

There is significant disparity between the degree to which IT departments believe social media is used in the workplace and the actual usage figures, according to an investigation by FaceTime.

By analysing the network traffic of its customers, the security software vendor estimates that social networking is used by at least one employee at 100% of organisations. However, in a survey of IT professionals, 38% of respondents insisted that there is no social networking use within their enterprise.

Similarly, less than two-thirds of IT workers (60%) believed that any staff were using instant messaging software, but FaceTime’s network analysis found IM in use at 98% of organisations.

Fewer than a third (32%) of IT workers believed that any employees used peer-to-peer applications for file sharing. Again, FaceTime’s network analysis found peer-to-peer applications in use at three-quarters (74%) of businesses.

FaceTime attributed this discrepancy to the fact that employees often use such techniques as web proxies to circumnavigate restrictions on web behaviour.

“End-users still seek to identify creative ways to thwart corporate policy, whether this is for malicious intent or simply in order to ‘do their job’ is not always clear,” the FaceTime report read, “but what remains abundantly obvious is that the tools they utilise continue to circumvent technology controls in place.”