Social networking sites and Web 2.0 applications have become pervasive in the enterprise. As Web-based tools bridge gaps between communities and wipe away physical borders, they enable people and businesses to communicate in real time. While instant messaging, Web conferencing, and peer to peer file-sharing and social networking sites can provide a wealth of advantages in the enterprise, they are becoming the newest entry points for Internet threats, compliance violations and data loss.
The Web 2.0 world has made security more complex, and organizations are looking for a comprehensive approach to security that reduces-not multiplies-the number of threats, as well as eases management and regulatory challenges faced by IT managers.
For many companies, social networking and Web 2.0 applications have moved well beyond just personal use to help businesses market their products and optimize workforces.
For example, human resources may be using LinkedIn to research employee prospects, sales teams may leverage Facebook to legitimately interact with customers, and marketing departments may utilize Twitter to share headlines or expand the visibility of their latest news announcement.
The ease of sharing information, combined with real-time communications, makes many of these tools very compelling. And such trends are expected to continue, with enterprise spending on Web 2.0 technologies projected to reach $4.6B globally by 2013. Businesses can't ignore the opportunity to increase productivity by leveraging these new tools.