SMBs Wary of Social Network Security

By Brian Prince  |  Posted 2010-11-16 Print this article Print

Research from Webroot illustrated that many small to midsized businesses (SMBs) have taken to blocking social networking sites.

In a survey of more than 1,000 businesses from the U.S. and U.K., Webroot found 50 percent do not allow their employees to visit any social networks via company computers. Almost 40 percent of those polled prohibit employees from visiting Facebook, while 30 percent block access to Twitter and 27 percent block video-sharing sites like YouTube.

One of the main reasons for the trepidation toward social networks is malware. Some 53 percent of the respondents said they are "very or extremely concerned" about malware targeting social networks.

"As more SMB IT managers better understand the solutions on the market that can help them manage threats delivered via social networks, we expect the number of businesses that block access altogether will decrease," a Webroot spokesperson told eWEEK. "Small to midsized businesses tend to have smaller IT teams, so it's likely they may not have had the opportunity to become familiar with the granularity of the solutions that would help them manage access to social networks at a group or individual level."

Twenty-one percent said their company allows employees to visit social networking sites from their company-owned machines during specific times, such as lunch breaks or after work hours. Sixteen percent give certain departments permission to visit specific social networking sites.

Webroot recommends organizations thinking of permitting access to social networks determine who needs access to the sites in order for the company to be competitive.

"Again, it's evaluating who needs access, and establishing guidelines within an organization," the spokesperson said. "Your company's policy on social network usage should be incorporated into your Internet usage policy. Then socialize and enforce your Internet usage policy among your employees, and then implement technology that will help you better enforce it." |

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