Blue Coat Study Reveals Abusive Language, Job Gripes and Sexual Advances Rampant Among IM Use at Work
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Blue Coat(TM) Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: BCSI) today announced the results of an alarming study confirming the widespread use of uncontrolled, personal instant messaging (IM) throughout the workplace. Accompanying the study, Blue Coat has developed helpful steps for implementing an instant messaging and Internet use corporate policy.
The survey of approximately 300 respondents, conducted by Blue Coat, indicates that foul language, gossiping and job gripes are commonplace in IM communication at work. Almost half of respondents admitted using abusive language in IM conversations, while a staggering 40 percent admitted using IM to conspire with colleagues during conference calls. While nearly 60 percent of respondents did not believe IM conversations could be monitored, almost one-third confessed to having made “sexual advances” over IM.
Additional data collected from survey respondents in both the US and the UK concludes:
— More than 65 percent of office workers surveyed used IM for personal conversation during work hours
— Just 27 percent (US) and 11 percent (UK) of workers used IM for business purposes only
— Nearly 80 percent of respondents admitted to gossiping via IM
— Almost 40 percent of US respondents claimed their employers did not allow unsupervised downloads
— Only 12 percent (UK) and 9 percent (US) of respondents said their employers only allowed them to download certain types of IM applications
— 64 percent of respondents admitted to “exchanging negative comments about management”
“While instant messaging has proven itself as a productive business tool, our research validates that its free-flowing and unmonitored nature is creating enormous legal liabilities, compliance and productivity issues for organizations worldwide,” said Steve Mullaney, vice president of marketing for Blue Coat. “Organizations must now integrate a policy for controlling and logging IM as part of the overall Internet-use policy.”
Developing an Internet-Use Policy
The need for more sophisticated Internet usage policies is clear, but how to design, deploy and maintain a policy that is right for the specific needs of an organization can be a challenge. Blue Coat has outlined 10 helpful steps for helping organizations implement an IM and Internet-use policy. The guidelines are based around two major requirements: The ability of those setting the policy to be completely in tune with the benefits and drawbacks that the Internet brings to the organization; and, the need for a technical infrastructure that ensures that the policy is practical to deploy and maintain.
To obtain a copy of the Blue Coat report titled “An Internet Usage Policy to Combat New Business Risks,” please visit http://www.bluecoat.com/downloads/whitepapers/internet_policy.html .
About Blue Coat Systems
Blue Coat Systems provides secure proxy appliances that control user communications over the Web. Blue Coat ProxySG appliances integrate advanced proxy functionality with security services such as content filtering, instant messaging control and Web virus scanning — without impacting network performance. With more than 3,000 customers and over 14,000 appliances shipped worldwide, Blue Coat is trusted by many of the world’s most influential organizations to ensure a safe and productive Web environment. Blue Coat is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and can be reached at 408-220-2200 or www.bluecoat.com.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS: The statements contained in this press release that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements, including statements regarding Blue Coat Systems’ expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future. All forward-looking statements included in this press release are based upon information available to Blue Coat Systems as of the date hereof, and Blue Coat Systems assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. These and other risks relating to Blue Coat Systems’ business are set forth in Blue Coat Systems’ most recently filed Form 10-Q for the quarter ended July 31, 2003, and other reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.