Few companies to block social media by 2014

Bangalore: Fewer than 30 per cent of large organisations will block employee access to social media sites by 2014, compared with 50 per cent in 2010, according to technology researcher Gartner, Inc.

The number of organisations blocking access to all social media is dropping by around 10 per cent a year, it said in a statement.

"Even in those organisations that block all access to social media, blocks tend not to be complete," said Andrew Walls, research vice president at Gartner.

"Certain departments and processes, such as marketing, require access to external social media, and employees can circumvent blocks by using personal devices such as smartphones. Organisations need now to turn their attention to the impacts of social media on identity and access management (IAM)."

Gartner said that social media environments include mechanisms to collect, process, share and store a more complete range of identity data than do corporate IAM systems.

They enable a more complete view of identity, one that extends beyond the bounds of organizations. For IAM managers, this is both a threat and an opportunity.

Identity data and social media platforms can expose organisations and users to a wide variety of security threats, but organisations can also use this identity data to improve support for their own IAM practices and the ambitions of business stakeholders, it was noted.