(Gawkwire.com) – More than half (61%) of IT decision makers in the UK see the security threat of staff use of social media as their biggest concern, according to new research by LANDesk Software, a global leader in PC lifecycle management, endpoint protection and IT service management.
The study found that IT departments are facing an uphill struggle to regain control of the way they enforce policy and practice within their organisations as they face a power struggle against increasingly digital-savvy employees.
“Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have changed the way we communicate with one another,” says Andy Baldin, VP EMEA, LANDesk.  “Today more end-users than ever are able to easily download software and manage the way they use IT.  As a result, many employees see themselves as their ‘own IT Manager’, which has the potential to cause a number of problems for organisations.  As applications evolve, end-users increasingly download new software add-ons, which can expose businesses to new security threats.”
Despite the fact that the majority of firms do have strict policies around the use of social media (73%) and internet downloads (89%) in place, the study showed that one in three were unsure that these were being adhered to.
Indeed, 55% of employees surveyed admitted to downloading software from the internet to a corporate computer.  Almost half (48%) 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. 
Furthermore, the study found that 58% of staff admitted to posting company information on social media platforms, creating additional security challenges through the potential loss or leak of sensitive information.
Baldin continues:  “There’s no question that as social media continues to evolve, IT departments will find themselves fighting more fires, resulting in greater resourcing and financial pressures.  Systems management and security software can help solve a number of these problems, but only when customers are using all the functions available, which all too often they’re not.  We would encourage all IT departments to get in touch with their software vendors to learn about the tools and practices that can be put in place to help minimise security threats and future proof their business.”

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