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How To Tame the Social Network At Work 130

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the with-a-whip-and-chair dept.
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Dan Tynan provides an in-depth report on how IT can tame social networking at work without shutting the organization off to the kinds of business opportunities today's social networks present. 'They're a productivity sink and a bandwidth suck. They're a vector for malware and a gift for corporate spies. They're a data spill just waiting to happen. And like it or not, they're already inside your enterprise,' Tynan writes. 'Most companies are in denial about how much their employees are using social nets, as well as what they can do to stop it.' Worse, many are still balking at the fact that having a presence on social networks is rapidly becoming a requirement for doing business. Strict commonsense policies, next-generation firewalls, data leak prevention software — all can decrease your company's exposure to the risks inherent in social networking while still enabling your company to solve problems, burnish its public image, recruit top talent, and generate ideas through social networks."
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How To Tame the Social Network At Work

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  • hosts file (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    add
    127.0.0.2 www.facebook.com
    to
    c:\windows\System32\drivers\hosts

    • by Samalie (1016193)

      Whomever modded this "offtopic" is full of fail.

      This is EXACTLY my local solution at work. THe users abuse the shit out of FB if they have access to it (without even getting into the security issues).

      Not to mention...my users are stupid. THey don't even know what a hosts file is, and coupled with the fact that I have the hosts entry in Group Policy which auto-updates every 15 minutes or so...it is a cheap and effective way to ditch FB & the horrible time drain that it is from the office.

      • Its a little easy to bypass is it not. Simply change it to an IP address and you should be able to access it. Even if one person figures it out, everyone in the company will know how to bypass it within a month tops
        • by Samalie (1016193)
          Well yes...of course it can be bypassed. Getting to FB by IP address? Shit, I doubt I have a single user who even knows what an IP Address is. Yes, it is that bad. But I've had this "system" in place for the better part of a year and a half now. One person used a proxy to get by the hosts entry, and she was summarily skidded for it when a manager came by her desk to find out why she missed a deadline and saw her plugging away on Facebook. Nobody else has tried to get around it since. I know its not p
  • Social Icon (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hey (83763) on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:08AM (#33933216) Journal

    That Slashdot "social" icon of the two hands shaking has gotta go. Maybe it applied to LinkedIn but not Facebook, etc. How about an image of somebody taking a photo of them self.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by StripedCow (776465)

      How about an image of somebody taking a photo of them self.

      I like that idea. Mod parent up!

      And while we're at it, let's change the Apple icon into something more appropriate, and in line with the M$ icon.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        How about a tramp stamp. That seems fitting.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Reilaos (1544173)

      How about a man with a megaphone screaming at a canyon?

      Or a picture of someone taking a picture of someone taking a photo of their self?

    • That Slashdot "social" icon of the two hands shaking has gotta go. Maybe it applied to LinkedIn but not Facebook, etc. How about an image of somebody taking a photo of them self.

      With duckface.

  • Facebook Account (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stargoat (658863) <stargoat@gmail.com> on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:09AM (#33933234) Journal

    Is it time to get a Facebook Account? I've been on Slashdot for years and as far as I was concerned, that's the only web social interaction I need. Sure, I've got a LinkedIn account, but that doesn't really count.

    Slashdot has been cutting off journal entries and making it tougher to post stuff. It doesn't prompt the journals or make it easy to search through them. I wish Slashdot would change this, but there doesn't seem to be any impetuous towards this.

    Everyone else it seems is on Facebook, but let's face it. Most of them are fairly to exceedingly lame, while the people around here are people who's opinion I want to hear. Still, these fairly to exceedingly lame individuals are my coworkers, friends, and potential employees and employers.

    Will it be necessary to have a Facebook account in 2011?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I get all the "productivity sink and a bandwidth suck" I need right here too.

    • Re:Facebook Account (Score:5, Informative)

      by slim (1652) <john@nOspam.hartnup.net> on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:24AM (#33933424) Homepage

      Is it time to get a Facebook Account?

      It depends on network effects. Are many of your friends/family using Facebook? If so, it might be polite to them if you were to sign up.

      Nobody forces you to put sensitive private information on there. You can block any apps that irritate you.

      My contacts have settled down into a very mature use pattern now; it's used for twitter-like microblogging, sharing photos, and -- crucially -- for forum-like discussions e.g. planning a party or some other kind of get-together. I haven't had a virtual sheep thrown at me, nor been bitten by a virtual zombie, for years.

      Sure, you could say "I can use email for that", but if everyone else would prefer to use Facebook, your not being on it causes them a nuisance.

      It's also quite handy for remembering people's birthdays ;)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kidgenius (704962)

        Is it time to get a Facebook Account?

        It depends on network effects. Are many of your friends/family using Facebook? If so, it might be polite to them if you were to sign up.

        Polite to them?! Umm...i'm close enough (not in the geographic sense) to my friends and family that when we want to talk, hang out, or get together, we use that crazy new invention called the telephone. You might not have heard of it, as it's a fairly new thing....

        • by slim (1652) <john@nOspam.hartnup.net> on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:52AM (#33933868) Homepage

          Yeah, the phone has its uses.

          But, example -- I went to a music festival with a group of about 10 people, some of whom I'm close to, some of whom I'm not. We did all the organisation -- when and where to meet up, where to camp, who's driving, what to take, etc. in a thread in a private Facebook group.

          I think that having an asynchronous, persistent system like that is a lot easier for ongoing conversations with more than, say, 4 people.

          Yes, email, or a forum, or Google Wave (RIP) fits the bill too. But in this case the originator of the conversation chose Facebook, so it's likely that anyone not on it would have been excluded from the conversation (maybe you'd be happy with that? Let everyone else discuss the options, and then phone you with their decisions, as a fait accomplis?)

          I don't see a reason *not* to get a FB account. It costs nothing. You can alleviate privacy concerns by not putting anything private on there.

        • Wowzers, you're still paying for telephone services WHILE paying for Internet?

          The only reason I even HAVE a cell phone is for work and the occaisonal need to get a hold of people while on the run.

          But seriously, if I ever need to talk to my friends and family, no matter what the geographic condition is, we've all been able to use Skype, or MSN messenger, or any of the other free video/audio/text chat applications available. I haven't made a long distance phone call in like 10 years.

          But do you understand what

        • by somersault (912633) on Monday October 18, 2010 @12:01PM (#33934026) Homepage Journal

          I find telephone calls are anything but polite, they interrupt me when I'm trying to do other things. Facebook is like any other message board. You post when it's convenient for you, other people read when it's convenient for them, and more than two people can communicate simultaneously. Phone calls are a waste of time for Slim's example of organising a party.. if you have a convenient all in one message board/calendar facility like Facebook, that all your friends already use, it makes sense to use it.

        • by darjen (879890)

          I hate talking on the phone. The only reason I have voice service is because I'm on a family share plan. You're almost always interrupting someone. I would much rather send them a message that just gets to the point.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by the_humeister (922869)

          Mom: Oh yeah, right there!
          Dad: You like that?
          *phone rings*
          Dad: Who the hell keeps calling us?
          kidgenius (704962): Hey guys! I'm outside your house!
          Dad: OMG! Can't u leave us alone for at least 30 minutes???

        • It depends on network effects. Are many of your friends/family using Facebook? If so, it might be polite to them if you were to sign up.

          Polite to them?! Umm...i'm close enough (not in the geographic sense) to my friends and family that when we want to talk, hang out, or get together, we use that crazy new invention called the telephone.

          Works fine so long as number of people involved is fairly small or at least the number of decision makers is fairly small, and only so long as they're all available by teleph

        • by dcollins (135727)

          "Polite to them?! Umm...i'm close enough (not in the geographic sense) to my friends and family that when we want to talk, hang out, or get together, we use that crazy new invention called the telephone. You might not have heard of it, as it's a fairly new thing...."

          Facebook's killer app is in planning parties (esp. with single people looking for romantic partners) and handling new contacts afterward. Calling people individually for this purpose is not time-effective. Once upon a time, written invitations a

          • I've always been a fan of facebook's events system...the only problem is that if you were a college facebook user (rather than an adult who started once it opened up), they have sort of lost their punch.

            The system is great, but people would create new events as a way to mass invite everyone to say "omg I lost my phone" (cmon...I have had the ability to sync contacts with a computer easily since the freebie phone I got in 2005...why does this still happen) or invite everyone to some crappy mass event. Thi

        • My cousin out West recently had a baby. If you've ever had a newborn show up, it's really very chaotic, shatters your schedule, and it's hard to find the time to call people up and talk to them. It was a whole lot easier for the proud parents to snap a couple of photos and update Facebook. Whatever reduces the load on new parents is good, I figure.

        • by slriv (473167)

          Wow, score 1 for being obnoxious. I thought the guy's point was pretty good. This isn't about you, it's about others, and once you've signed up you don't really need to participate in the daily banter.

          FB (and it's ilk) are the new internet. We used to all put up personal websites, but that was difficult and it sucked, then came lots of other crap, then Myspace/FB. It's funny that I have friends that don't even have published email addresses anymore and only communicate through FB's mail system.

          That all

      • If they find me not-being-on-facebook a nuisance then that's their problem, and to be honest I don't really want to hear from people who object that much. I've long since given up being irritated by them not using Linux, they'll get over it in much the same way....or more likely start asking me for advice on whatever the Next Big Thing is.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You do realize that people regularly post private information about their friends publicly on Facebook? I finally gave up and deactivated my account because I was tired of constantly untagging myself from photos, videos, and other things.

        And every time Facebook added a new feature, I had to figure out all the implications and how to disable many of them. One of the worst was that friends could tag me as being in a particular location. That really ticked me off. Some of the people within my social networ

        • by Leynos (172919)

          I pre-empted this by turning off the ability of others to tag me in photos etc.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        It depends on network effects. Are many of your friends/family using Facebook? If so, it might be polite to them if you were to sign up.

        Or they could be polite and not demand that everyone follow the crowd they are part of. I have my reasons for not joining Facebook, why should I be forced to give in and join? If my friends want to communicate with me, they can use email, the telephone, or even just talk to me in person, so signups or invasions of privacy needed.

        Sure, you could say "I can use email for that", but if everyone else would prefer to use Facebook, your not being on it causes them a nuisance.

        Too bad, if they consider me to be a nuisance for not signing up for Facebook, then they have a choice. They can suck it up, or they can stop communicating with me. If Faceb

    • Re:Facebook Account (Score:4, Informative)

      by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:39AM (#33933646)
      Depends on what reason you want to use Facebook. I have a large family all over the country. Keeping up with them would have required a major amount of effort without Facebook. For example I have 2 new nieces and it's very nice that my brother posts pictures of them periodically. That was my primary reason. The secondary reason is to keep up with friends, some of whom I would have never found again. Last it's another way for people to reach me (that I can ignore if I choose). Yes some people are in it for the vanity. It's a tool like everything else.
      • by kidgenius (704962)
        I guess it depends on what type of person you are. If you are/were a friend of mine, and we've just naturally fallen out of touch, that's just the way it is. If I really was dying to get back in touch with you, I wouldn't have fallen out of touch in the first place. I have a small handful of friends. Hell, I could count it on a hand or two. The difference is that any one of these friends can be called up at a moments notice and they will help a brother out. And there is reciprocity to that as well. I
        • I do Parkour with a few friends several times a week, and we even have our own messageboard where we chat, but Facebook is nicer for sharing stuff like the videos and photos we've taken during sessions, or cool videos we've found on YouTube. It definitely has a place even among people who are already friends. It's also a nice way to get to know new friends (and even their friends/family) better.

          Watching The Social Network yesterday almost made me delete my Facebook account, but at the same time it made me r

    • If you keep it locked down to friends only, facebook isn't too bad. You get to know some of whats going on and the messaging can be useful. It's kind of like email but without the stuff you delete without reading.

      I've got family halfway round the world and its nice to be able to keep in touch. You will need a facebook filter on your email account just to delete the notifications facebook send continually. It's also very good for birthdays. oh and new slashdot stories get posted as they become live if you be

    • Staying away from Facebook is easy...if you are willing to fight with everyone around you when they say, "Did you see those pictures I posted on Facebook? No, I won't email my pictures to you! Can't you see everyone is on Facebook?!"
    • I registered for FB during my freshman year of university because it's so popular there, but ironically, most of my Friends are people I know from outside of university. (Nearly all of my Friends are people I know in RL)

      42% Boy Scout friends, 7% family members, 6% because of shared taste in music, 2% middle school, 20% high school, 11% other; only 12% from university

      I don't use it much, but IMHO it's good for what it is, for the few people I do use it with.

  • by Nursie (632944) on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:10AM (#33933250)

    I browse facebook via an encrypted tunnel to a private server!

    So it probably just looks like I'm funnelling in and out company secrets or something...

    • by mjwx (966435)

      I browse facebook via an encrypted tunnel to a private server!

      /Pulls network cable.

      Your internet access... has just been revoked.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:11AM (#33933260)

    ... as I sit at work reading about how to tame social networks at work ...

  • by gti_guy (875684) on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:17AM (#33933334)
    The article looks like little more than an advertisement for "FaceTime's Socialite or Palo Alto Networks' next-generation firewalls".
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      A commercial it is. Nothing good is ever found at the end of a link with *world.com as its suffix. Ads and disappointment, along with something like this article; complete Social Net-Hype bullshit. Yeah, grow your biz on facebook... if you're an idiot. I don't read articles like this, ever. Let me guess though, your "article" was light on info, heavy on ads to the point of absurdity, perhaps broken into several pages for no good reason and so much java script that you'd think the Mormon Tabernacle Java

  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:19AM (#33933362)
    "They're a vector for malware and a gift for corporate spies. They're a DATA spill just waiting to happen. And like it or not, they're already inside your enterprise"

    Wait, are we talking about social networking here? or the Borg invasion from 'Star Trek: First Contact?'
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:21AM (#33933382)

    The idea that corporate firewalls, IDS and content filters will stop Facebook or other social networking traffic is silly. There are hundreds of mobile devices that use consumer-grade cellular networks already in place; information WILL get out.

    • by alvinrod (889928)
      Yeah, but it will be more of a pain in the ass for most people. I don't regularly use any social networking sites so I don't know what the experience is like on a smart phone, but it's probably not anywhere near as good as the experience from a web browser. Hell, if the company provides the smart phone, they're probably just as capable of locking it down as any of the staff machines. You can't stop 100% of people from getting access, but if you stop 95% of them, that's probably a satisfactory amount.
      • by vertinox (846076)

        Yeah, but it will be more of a pain in the ass for most people. I don't regularly use any social networking sites so I don't know what the experience is like on a smart phone, but it's probably not anywhere near as good as the experience from a web browser.

        Actually, Twitter and Facebook seem to have designed with the idea that they would be used on cell phones.

        The Facebook app on the iPhone (IMO) is sometimes actually better than using the webpage because you get less junk on the screen (like friend recomme

    • by guruevi (827432)

      Exactly and even if not on a personal device, many sites use SSL or are simply not being monitored (personal blogs, obscure or other-language social networks). It's a fallacy to think that in this day and age, you can keep a company secret if everyone in your company needs access to these secrets. Once you go beyond the highest levels of management (C-level) or the very guarded R&D departments you cannot keep anything a secret for very long.

      If the only reason your company exists is because of an interna

    • Exactly - the same goes for, well, pretty much everything that's blocked on a corporate network. What with MiFis and smartphones starting to crop up absolutely everywhere...

    • Much of the advantages are there if FB is run on the employees' phones. Nothing dodgy is getting run or installed on company computers, confidential information would have to be manually copied to be leaked, that sort of thing.

      • by treeves (963993)
        Why would anything have to be manually copied? I can connect my phone to my laptop via USB or Bluetooth and transfer anything to it that will fit on it. In fact, it's connected right now, syncing files between the two.
  • by Boss, Pointy Haired (537010) on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:23AM (#33933410)

    It's a long time since I had any involvement in corporate IT networks; and I realise that a lot is easier said than done, but if I were designing one from scratch today; I wouldn't treat any physical internal employee work location (ethernet at the desk or office-wide WiFi) as being any different to the wider Internet.

    This would enable an infrastructure to be set-up where protection was focussed around the core services and the communications channel between them and the accessing client rather than having to worry about what is actually going on at the employee's desktop; because even if you do restrict external Internet access your employees are just going use dongles or their mobile phones.

  • what firewall? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by digitalsushi (137809) <slashdot@digitalsushi.com> on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:27AM (#33933452) Journal

    My friend is on facebook all day at work. His corporate firewall is ruthless. It is without ruth. It is a brick wall with no peeping holes.

    He doesn't care since he's sitting back in his chair on his droid.

    How the heck can IT battle this? (Is it obviously a social issue?)

    • by gblackwo (1087063) on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:32AM (#33933542) Homepage
      Unemployment? That usually does the trick.
    • Re:what firewall? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:37AM (#33933616)

      My friend is on facebook all day at work. His corporate firewall is ruthless. It is without ruth. It is a brick wall with no peeping holes.

      He doesn't care since he's sitting back in his chair on his droid.

      How the heck can IT battle this? (Is it obviously a social issue?)

      Yup.

      I've got a a Blackberry with 3G access. I can pull up Facebook on it just fine.

      I've also got a nook which does a less impressive job of rendering web pages, but generally gets the job done.

      Folks around me have iPhones and iPads available.

      It isn't the corporate network and workstations you need to worry about. It's all the Internet-connected devices your employees are carrying around.

    • Re:what firewall? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by slim (1652) <john@nOspam.hartnup.net> on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:37AM (#33933626) Homepage

      To be fair, as long as he's using FB on his droid, there's no scope for a 3rd party app to put malware on his PC.

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Why should they? If your employees are surfing Facebook instead of working, fire them. If they're surfing Facebook and working, why do you care?

    • they can have managers that actually check on their workers. or, if the organization provides phone numbers for each employee, they can tell the employees that they will be reprimanded if their cell phones are seen; they have office phones & email if they need to communicate with the outside.

      or they can provide some mechanism for employees to let managers know when someone is dicking around on their phone too much (anonymously). i get irate when i'm working my ass of on issues, but a coworker spends
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      How the heck can IT battle this? (Is it obviously a social issue?)

      Why should they? He's not exposing the company to harm. At that point it's just a productivity issue.

    • by i_b_don (1049110)

      You forgot the part that's even worse... at night, when you're no looking, he *gasp* goes to a different place and uses a computer WITHOUT a firewall and does face-book non-stop, or at least until he sleeps.

      "OMG. Why o why does my company employ such lowly filth?" you ask as you type away on your own geek based social networking site, "it's despicable!"

      d

    • by The Moof (859402)

      How the heck can IT battle this?

      Not IT, but whoever does policy enforcement. Most places have a personal cell phone use ban. So while he may not be violating anything IT-related, your friend is still probably violating his employment terms he signed when hired. If he's on it as much as you're implying, a simple spot check will catch him.

  • cut down on the supermarket tabloid speak - slashdot isn't for that sort of iduhvidual
  • SCENE: MOZILLA FIREFOX WINDOW

    Firefox title bar: "Access to this site is blocked"
    Firefox document body:

    Content blocked by your organization

    Reason:
    This Websense category is filtered: Denied.

    URL: http://www.facebook.com/ [facebook.com]

    Options:
    Click more_information [slashdot.org] to learn more about your access policy.
    Click Go_Back [slashdot.org] or use the browser's Back button to return to the previous page.

    More_information [slashdot.org] link leads to this not-so-helpful explanation:
    Your Websense policy blocks this page at all times.

    /facepal
    • It's "policy". And with all such policies, discussion is prohibited. Otherwise, the policy would be ineffective. What you seek is not helpfulness, but a way to skirt this policy and thwart the dictates of your managers. Sounds like insubordination to me.

  • Yes, I know it's a cliche. Considering the massive variety of ways that users can satisfy their addictions to social networking, there is no reasonable technical solution to the problem. So use a social one.

    Yes, I know I'm being simplistic, but complexity isn't a necessary part of having a good idea. Implementing it, on the other hand...
  • Requirement? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yvan256 (722131) on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:32AM (#33933536) Homepage Journal

    Many are still balking at the fact that having a presence on social networks is rapidly becoming a requirement for doing business

    When I want to see information about a business, I just go to their website, not FaceBook.

    • by Pop69 (700500)

      When I want to see information about a business, I just go to their website, not FaceBook.

      When did Facebook suddenly become the only "social network" ?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GrumblyStuff (870046)

        I don't know but it's practically becoming The Internet. That fucking logo is everywhere and businesses are falling all over themselves screaming, "FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER!"

        Pisses me off to no end.

        Worse still is websites doing the same thing.

        Hello! I'm on your fucking website! I don't need to go to another one to read what I want that's already right fucking here in front of me!

    • by kidgenius (704962)
      I think that having a presence on facebook, twitter, etc., can be beneficial to many companies. But none of those companies are the types that should worry about blocking access, etc. Being on facebook isn't going to make or break a Fortune 500 compnay...
      • by gblackwo (1087063)
        And this fact is based on what? Social Networking is a new untested variable in the business place. Maybe it could break a Fortune 500 company.
        • by kidgenius (704962)
          Really? You think if Coca-Cola doens't have a FB account their in trouble? How about Exxon, Honeywell, Boeing, or BofA? You can't be serious. Heck, most of those companies don't even deal with you and me, and instead do nothing but service other large coporations....
          • by slim (1652)

            Coca Cola *does* have a Facebook page, and appears to spend money keeping it alive.

            Now, I'm not saying they'd be in *trouble* without one. But it does appear that Coke's marketing people thing it's a worthwhile investment, and I bet Facebook viral stuff pushed by Pepsi is threatening Coke sales (admittedly, tiny percentages, but still large numbers I suspect).

            My company -- very much not consumer-oriented -- has someone who as part of their job, tends corporate Facebook and Twitter identities, intended as so

    • When I want to see information about a business, I just go to their website, not FaceBook.

      Ditto...I know it seems to be a must these days and even major corporations are jumping all over it, but am I the only one who sees stuff like facebook.com/yourcompany and thinks "What's the matter...couldn't afford a real website?". Guess I'm old fashioned...

    • I use to think that too, then I had a conversation with HR a few weeks ago, where they stated that they hired 80% of the CSR's last round using twitter links. I was dumbstruck!

      Apparently they get less spam and more viable candidates via twitter than any other way.

  • first of all, 90% of companies out there can't really benefit from FB whatsoever. there is no financial benefit whatsoever. so block it, and tell your employees to shut up and quit wasting time. and companies need to quit making FB pages for themselves. you can't promote your own FB page as a company, and then get pissy if people spend time on FB within your organization. not having a FB account is wonderful. it is such a stupid thing.
  • Evaluate employees based on whether or not they perform their duties, not whether or not they look busy.

    Hold the managers to the same standard.

    If you need to squeeze more blood from the rock that is your personnel, realize that blocking sites, banning cell phone use, etc. will only drive them to do the minimum to avoid being fired. If that's what you want, go for it.

    If you want good workers, treat them like decent people. Work isn't play, but it doesn't have to be a prison, either. In the 70s we realized

  • Hahaha!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by decipher_saint (72686) on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:52AM (#33933874) Homepage

    'They're a productivity sink and a bandwidth suck. They're a vector for malware and a gift for corporate spies. They're a data spill just waiting to happen. And like it or not, they're already inside your enterprise,'

    Hahaha! I believe those things are called "people" ;-)

    Seriously though, if work gets done and private info stays private then who cares?

    I mean, go hang with the people that smoke outside the building, they talk shop nearly constantly. I've been able to inadvertently overhear some pretty interesting details about the infrastructure of several IT shops that way just by passing by and saying "hello" to co-workers enjoying a smoke break.

  • Easy Solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mhesler (877661) on Monday October 18, 2010 @12:01PM (#33934022) Homepage
    Keep people busy and make them accountable for getting their work done. Otherwise, what's the problem?
  • by Philodoxx (867034) on Monday October 18, 2010 @12:05PM (#33934080)

    The solution to this problem lies with management, not technology. Replace Facebook with "Playing cards" and the solution is the same. If you have somebody who wastes time at work it should be up to that person's boss to stop that behavior and get the person back to work.

    • by Amouth (879122)

      while i agree on the productivity side.. Facebook also has other issue that it brings along

      i've never seen a deck of playing cards send people messages "hey checkout what happened last night ---> Attachment (Topless.jpg.exe)"

      i only reference that as it was very close to something that actually happened here where more than 1 person was dumb enough to download and install crap on their machines.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)
      Depends on how you define wasting time. Too many people think of it as if they see facebook or slashdot on your screen then you're a horrid timewaster who deserves to be fired. The company I work for takes a very different approach by monitoring the work I do, not the work I don't do. We have freedom and flexibility, no one cares that I take a break every so often to jump on facebook or slashdot providing my list of jobs is getting worked through at a steady rate.

      I also find this beneficial to the emplo
  • Can't you just block the servers used by Facebook games? e.g. Zynga, Mindjolt, etc. The domains and IP ranges should be easy to track down. That should eliminate a major time sink, while still allowing access to FB messages, events, groups, etc which could possibly be used for work.

    But really, if you've got someone playing Farmville 6+ hours a day at work, then it is an employee problem, not a security problem...

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      Tell me about it! What is he doing on those other two hours of work? He's getting paid for eight hours of work, not six!

      Now go back to Farmville, you!

  • Block everything and then only allow those sites that are really needed.

    You could even make it pretty user friendly in that people can add a site and that will be automatically added and checked afterwords on validity. Sure a user could add some pr0n site, but that will be noticed later, so people will be unlikely to do that, unless they want to be fired.

    And then not all people need access to everything, so different filters per department or even per user should be possible.

    For those that can't go without

    • The department PCs better not have USB ports configured to accept storage devices. Otherwise its a waste of time if users can effectively bypass the firewalls by plugging in their potentially compromised USB drives. Locking out PCs is hard... you have to lock out ALL I/O to be secure, not just the network. Of course, not to many places will do that due to inconvenience, so there are compromises to consider in the security plan.
  • Palo Alto Networks (www.paloaltonetworks.com) happens to have the the technology to do exactly this - plus lower the bitrate based on the user (integrated LDAP). They can even proxy SSL sessions, decode content, detect applications (or data loss) and act accordingly. Kinda scary really, but awesome power...
  • by mathmathrevolution (813581) on Monday October 18, 2010 @01:14PM (#33934964)
    I am convinced that my company decided to allow Facebook because they wanted direct access to people's personal lives and if you use Facebook over the network you give that to them. They can monitor and store every interaction with FB, and nosy managers can get access to this whenever they want. If they didn't let people access FB over their network, then they couldn't legally invade their privacy.
    • Why don't you just use one of the hundred of HTTPS proxies that tunnel your connection to facebook through HTTPS.. making it a garbled mess to the nerd sitting in the server room with his laptop hooked up to the switch running a packet monitor.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      How long until facebook starts offering HTTPS connections (for a price perhaps)?
  • Obviously, these people are not getting enough time to spend with friends and family. I suggest that you give them another 8 hours a day to spend with their friends and family.
  • "like it or not, they're already inside your enterprise" ? Not if you (a) care (some places ask themselves the question and decide, no, for they're quite happy for users to goof off on non-work sites) and (b) either have no clue, or no money. Otherwise, you're using your own firewall rules or you're using one of the many commercial web filtering products, in-the-cloud proxies, appliances etc, in which case... they're NOT already inside your enterprise.
  • Hire people with no friends. Like me.

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