Monitoring employees in digital environments is on the rise: study

More and more Australians are accessing social media accounts during work hours, posing a serious security risk to employers.

A new report (May 29) on security trends and risk management by international research firm Gartner has found that employees are responsible for the vast majority of security breaches that take place in an enterprise.

And while this may not come as a surprise to many employers given the high access to privileged information that many staff members have, it does pose a number of serious risks to brands.

In addition to the range of problems that can arise from leaked information and the damage it could do to your brand, there are also a number of unique challenges that come about unless programs are put in place to mitigate this risk.

Research vice president of Gartner, Andrew Walls, said that with more than 60 per cent of corporations planning to increase monitoring of popular cloud services – Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn – within the next three years, it was now more important than ever to make sure that the types of systems that are rolled out are both effective and ethical.

“The growth in monitoring employee behaviour in digital environments is increasingly enabled by new technology and services,” explained Mr Walls.

“Surveillance of individuals, however, can both mitigate and create risk, which must be managed carefully to comply with ethical and legal standards.”

Mr Walls said that it was important for enterprises to only access and analyse business-related information in digital environments, so that the rights of individual employees are not violated.

Making a distinction between the risks associated with staff members posting videos that show the misuse of corporate facilities and those that may undermine equal opportunity of employment – such as information on sexual orientation or religion – is important to the effective resolution of security-related workplace issues.

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