The analyst claims 60% of corporations are expected to implement formal programmes for monitoring external social media for security breaches and incidents by 2015.
It said less than 10% of organisations are currently using these techniques as part of their security monitoring programme but it will inevitably increase.
Andrew Walls, research vice president of Gartner, said: “Given that employees with legitimate access to enterprise information assets are involved in most security violations, security monitoring must focus on employee actions and behaviour wherever the employees pursue business-related interactions on digital systems.
“In other words, the development of effective security intelligence and control depends on the ability to capture and analyse user actions that take place inside and outside of the enterprise IT environment.”
The analyst said the prevention and detection of security incidents has traditionally focused on monitoring of internal infrastructure. However, the impact of IT proficient consumers, cloud services and social media has rendered this traditional approach inadequate.
Walls added: “The growth in monitoring employee behaviour in digital environments is increasingly enabled by new technology and services.
“Surveillance of individuals, however, can both mitigate and create risk, which must be managed carefully to comply with ethical and legal standards.”