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Inside Cisco IT

In my last blog we discussed how on-line tools for desktop sharing, audio and video collaboration, and enterprise social software play an increasingly important role in corporate business. We discussed how the industry is also seeing a trend toward “IT consumerization,” where employees and other users experience new technologies before they are supported by enterprises. The first impact of this trend is producing more employee requests to access their personal social media accounts from their work computers as a way to manage both work and life responsibilities. The even bigger impact is that employees want to use these types of collaboration tools for enterprise business purposes.
We already covered how collaboration and social media tools are clearly beneficial to business: better information sharing, more efficient decision-making, and enhanced business relationships, among others. And trends are clearly indicating that collaboration will become a fundamental way of conducting many types of business activities in the near future. However, online collaboration tools, and external social sharing tools in particular, present security risks to the operation of enterprise networks and computing systems, as well as to the confidentiality of intellectual property and business information. But an organization that tries to completely ban external social media will likely find that employees may ignore the rules and use those tools anyway, by circumventing corporate processes. And this unauthorized, unmonitored, and uncontrolled use can increase the IT and business risks.

Through continual learning and process changes, Cisco IT is moving toward the right balance between the desires of employees to share and the business requirements of maintaining IT security, data, privacy, and asset protection.

In our latest publication we share how Cisco is addressing the security challenges of collaboration and social media tools through company policies, guidelines, and training for users as well as security measures in Cisco’s collaboration technology and its network. Please take a look here and let us know what you think.

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