Social networking seen by staff as security risk

The warnings about the security threats of social networking sites have made a deep impression on users with a growing number of users taking the view that sites like Facebook and LinkedIn pose a threat. Research yesterday from Clearswift revealed that a third of UK firms were clamping down on allo


The warnings about the security threats of social networking sites have made a deep impression on users with a growing number of users taking the view that sites like Facebook and LinkedIn pose a threat.

Research yesterday from Clearswift revealed that a third of UK firms were clamping down on allowing staff to use social networking sites and adding fuel to the fire findings from global risk consultancy Protiviti show that 17% of UK employees think there is a real risk to corporate security.

The problem is that the use of social networking has soared over the last 18 months particularly among the 18-24 year-old group who use it everyday and blocking access would be seen as a retrograde step by many staff.

But with potential problems including the leaking of sensitive data, unintentional uploading of Trojans onto employee PCs and the chance of staff to fall prey to fraudulent scams something has to be done to improve security.

"The big challenge for organisations is that public and private use of social networking sites has blurred. On one hand, employees are using social networking tools for managing activities in their private life - but accessing these tools from corporate systems. On the other hand, employees are being asked to carry out specific tasks relating to work via the same social networks," said Jonathan Wyatt, managing director at Protiviti UK.

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