IT departments in the dark as 99% of staff use unsecured internet applications

Business can no longer afford to ignore the security risk of Web 2.0 technologies, with 99% of employees using at least one internet application, a survey...

Business can no longer afford to ignore the security risk of Web 2.0 technologies, with 99% of employees using at least one internet application, a survey has revealed.

This is up from up 21% from five years ago, according to an annual global survey of more than 1,600 corporate IT users by content filtering firm FaceTime Communications.

These are applications that company IT departments have not risk-assessed, cleared or deployed with security measures, Sarah Carter, marketing director at FaceTime told the FST Live IT Security Conference in London.

Many corporate IT managers are unaware to what extent people within their organisations are using Web 2.0 applications, the survey revealed.

Only 62% of IT managers said social networking was present on the networks, but data from their networks showed social networking present in 100% of cases.

File sharing tools, including peer-to-peer applications, were found in 74% of organisations surveyed, compared with IT estimates of 62%.

Web-based chat was found in 95% of locations, but only 31% of IT professionals were aware that it was being used.

On average, IT managers report 57 security incidents related to internet application usage a month, up from 24 in 2008.

Remediation of these incidents costs more than $200,000 a month at affected organisations, according to FaceTime.

These internet tools are an important means of networking and collaboration, but businesses need to put policies in place to limit the risk, said Carter.

"Policy and education are key to mitigating risk, with conditions of use written into employment contracts," she said.

Read more on Hackers and cybercrime prevention

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