Wall Street employees circumvent social media bans


When Goldman Sachs invested in Facebook, the irony was obvious: The bank was investing in a firm whose product was not allowed in the company offices.

Given the pressing security concerns, the need to keep social media in offices off limits is more than understandable. Companies have only slowly changed their thinking on that issue. Many banks have embraced social media but only in very specific ways-Twitter for customer service, for example, or canned Tweets for advisor prospecting. When it comes to unfettered access for employees, most banks are still playing it cautious. Compliance is the chief issue, but network bandwidth is a concern as well.

hat doesn't mean that employees are giving up their favorite tools. DealBook notes that many employees finds ways to circumvent the rules.

"They are relying on an informal network of strategies to subvert company firewalls and stay connected.  To watch soccer highlights, for example, one analyst said he translated the names of the teams through Google and looked for them on Rutube, YouTube's Russian equivalent."

One JPMorgan employee uses the company's guest Wi-Fi network using his iPhone or iPad. Indeed, personal mobile devices are a prime workaround. At some point, banks will likely embrace more rational policies. Higher level executives are no doubt growing more comfortable with social media and have likely figured out their own workarounds. At some point, they'll drive the move to loosen up, just as they drove the move to embrace the iPhone as an enterprise tool, to the dismay of RIM.

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