Web 2.0 Technology Infiltration Risks

By eWEEK Labs  |  Posted 2008-05-14 Print this article Print


Internal Use of External Services

The rapid growth of the so-called Web 2.0 technologies has put free, powerful, and easy-to-use tools at the fingertips of everyone, including your employees. And outside of personal use, these services are also being employed to get work done in your company.

Workers are collaborating on data in Google Spreadsheets, chatting with a contractor on AOL Instant Messenger, or even using SAAS (software as a service) project management tools like Basecamp to complete vital projects. And in many if not all of these cases, these tools are being used without the input or knowledge of company IT staff (to workers, that's the beauty of these solutions).

But this can cause problems for all parties involved. Employees who run into network or other problems that prevent access of now-vital services will find an IT department unready to provide help or support. And IT departments are now dealing with new points of access where malware can potentially enter the company and vital company data can potentially exit.

IT staff should make sure that external services are part of any discussion about application needs for employees and departments. User surveys can help with finding out what external services are being used, along with network tools that will display actual usage statistics.

External services and SAAS applications are only becoming more popular and are touching more and more vital company areas. If you don't know what's being used and who is using it, you can't manage it. --JR 


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