I receive the IT Security Bulletin from emedia. I generally don’t read it too closely, but one of the headlines caught my eye this morning (plus I’m procrastinating doing some work for an online class): “The Facebook Headache: How to Effectively Block Blogs, MySpace & More.” The problem, it seems, is that employees are wasting time online and there is now a product that will put an end to that for all time. Another headline promises, “How to Stop Flash Games at Work.” The white paper focuses mainly on issues of malware and security, but I suspect the problem is the same as that with Facebook: employees wasting time.
The main problem here is that all those digital natives who have been wreaking havoc in the schools are now heading out to the workforce as well. And, businesses, it seems, are taking the same steps schools have: block, filter, forbid. Then I think about Wikinomics, which I am finally getting around to reading. The authors–Tapscott and Williams–would probably argue that rather than banning, we should be adopting these new disruptive technologies as a way to increase collaboration. Bring them into the mainstream, encourage employees to chat with their Facebook friends about issues they are encountering in their work. And, just like my state has launched an Internet safety campaign, companies should deal with the issues surrounding malware by educating employees.
After so many years of hearing how business should be more like education, it’s nice to know that businesses don’t always get it right.