Brand monitoring and anti-phishing vendors have long scanned the Web for activities that threaten the security, revenue stream, and reputation of its enterprise clients. One of these vendors, Cyveillance, just launched a social network monitoring service that helps its enterprise clients ensure employees and others are not abusing or threatening the company’s brand, image or safety via their postings on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Other vendors will certainly follow, and there are already some smaller-scale social network monitoring services available.
This is a natural extension of their business – the brand monitoring firms are adept at finding abuses of all sorts of threats against their enterprise clients — whether they be trademark violations, counterfeit sales, phishing and pharming attacks, or other types of direct or reputational assaults. They are skilled at filtering out most of the ‘noise’ as they scour and analyze information on millions of sites and online forums. (Refer to Research note: “Q&A: Cyberintelligence” G00169322)
Social network monitoring will be especially useful to enterprises that have policies around employee use of social networks, but have not monitored the application of those policies on a systematic basis, at least until now.
It will be interesting to see where employee privacy rights start and end relative to their employers. In the meantime, I for one am glad I’m not an avid social network user. I’m sure there are lots of entities out there, besides employers, that are interested in systematic monitoring of social network activity – many of whom don’t have my best interests at heart.
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