Client Insights, Senior Consultant
Center for Applied Insights
It is well known that social media holds a great deal of promise for the enterprise, but many executives and others are still struggling to get over the potential security and privacy risks. So, what is the best way to make the transition to becoming a secure social enterprise?
There are a lot of potential benefits to extensively using social media within and outside of your organization. It can increase connections with clients and customers, creating deeper relationships. Internally, it can improve collaboration, productivity, flexibility and accelerate innovation propagation within the enterprise. Social media even has the potential to break down hierarchies, creating more a more collegial working environment.
However, all of this newfound openness and transparency can create significant struggles and security concerns. What happens if my personal and professional social media accounts get entangled? How can I encourage an open dialogue with my customers without leaking product and strategy details? How can I balance my conversations with clients – open enough to be valuable, without seeming like I am controlling it too much? What are the best ways to approach approvals and checks before posting, without sacrificing immediacy?
These worries are not unfounded. Earlier this month, LinkedIn reported
that hackers breached their servers and leaked 6.5 million user passwords. Not all of them were decoded, but a number were published. In the latest IBM X-Force annual report
it was noted that in 2011 there was a significant increase in phishing mails impersonating social media sites and attackers are using personal and professional information from social media to improve their pre-attack intelligence gathering.
We have recently published a couple of resources on using social media responsibly and securely. IBM recently launched our “Go Social. Stay Safe. Be Smart”
We also just published a new article, as part of our Security Essentials for CIOs series, on navigating the risks and rewards of social media. In the article, we outline four steps for a better enterprise approach to social media, plus some tips for employees using social media.
- Define your social agenda – What do you want from social media? Who should be involved? What types of benefits do you expect?
- Analyze the risks – Use a structured way to look at potential internal and external risks. Come up with standard procedures for when things go wrong.
- Create and communicate your policy – Design an education program to communicate the opportunities and risks of social media, and what is expected from employees.
- Monitor security and measure progress – How effective is the use social media for the enterprise? Is it driving more business? Is it really improving collaboration?
The Center also released a short paper in January, titled “Social is great! So, now what?",
looking at the benefits of the successful adoption of enterprise social software.
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