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News

Social Media Protection Law Has Implications on BYOD Security

Varonis Systems : 08 August, 2012  (Technical Article)
Varonis comments on the implications to organisations operating a BYOD policy of latest law protecting social media rights of employees
Commenting on reports that employers in the state of Illinois will no longer be able to ask staff – or potential employees – to reveal their social networking credentials from the end of the year, Varonis Systems says this shows the fine line that all businesses walk when it comes to defending their data.

“The law makes sense. Giving your login credentials to anyone for anything is never a good idea.” said David Gibson, VP of strategy with the data governance specialist. “Unless you are using a social media account in a work capacity, it’s difficult to see how an employer can justify demanding access. It might also set a dangerous precedent—would Amazon, eBay or online banking credentials be next?”

“That said, organizations do have a responsibility to protect their data - including data they store that belongs to their customers, vendors and business partners,” said Gibson. “If you are using your own device (BYOD) -- smartphone, tablet, or laptop – for personal social media accounts and for work (e.g. for email and/or file access), then your employer may need to take measures to protect the organizational data stored on your device.”  

The lines between work and play are blurring, so it is critical for organizations to update and distribute their security policies to reflect BYOD and BYOS trends.

“The bottom line is that if you use your own device for work, your employer may be able to install software on it, remotely wipe it, or even ask you to surrender it. The good news is that, in Illinois at least, you should be able to keep your Facebook, Twitter and other social media passwords to yourself, and change them if you need to hand over your device,” he concluded.
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