Twitter Rises, Facebook Falls as Enterprise Cracks Down on Social Media

Corporations are cracking down on employee use of Facebook during business hours, according to a Zscaler Web report.

Social networking behemoth Facebook is suffering due to limited access companies impose on employees while using the Web at work, according to Zscaler€™s first-quarter 2012 state of the Internet report.

The report found Facebook traffic continues to decline as a percentage of total social transactions, while Twitter activity continues to increase. The most common reason for being exposed to malware is outdated software, according to the study.

Facebook shows a continual decline in the percentage of transactions. Facebook application was 40.54 percent in March, down from 41.72 percent of overall traffic in January and down from over 52 percent in the first quarter of last year. LinkedIn also declined in the quarter (from 1.55 percent to 1.45 percent). However, Twitter transactions increased from 7.05 percent to 7.44 percent. A significant reason for the declines is that "enterprises appear to have been increasingly limiting access to Facebook but have been less concerned about Twitter," the report noted.

Facebook still has a commanding lead and accounted for more than 40 percent of Web application transactions in the enterprise, followed by Gmail (18 percent), YouTube (8 percent) and Twitter (7 percent). The next most popular app (MSN Messenger) had less than 2.4 percent share. Mobile browsing, while a smaller percentage of the overall enterprise traffic handled, continues to rise. BlackBerry and Android traffic declined as a percentage. Apple iOS had the highest usage and ended the quarter accounting for more than 50 percent of the mobile browser traffic observed, according to the report.

A common threat on the Web comes from a series of exploit attempts against known vulnerabilities in browsers and browser plug-ins. By far, Adobe Reader was the largest client-side vulnerable attack surface for enterprise customers for the quarter, with more than 60 percent of Adobe Reader users running an outdated version. Outdated Adobe Shockwave plug-ins were running on about one-third of the users€™ devices. All other plug-ins were less than 8 percent, including (in descending order) Microsoft Outlook, Java, Flash, SilverLight, QuickTime, Windows Media Player and Real Player.

Zscaler also reported results from the company's Zulu service, which allows anyone to submit a URL, and receive a risk score. The company found malware in 9.55 percent of the sites submitted by users. A site is classified as benign, suspicious or malicious based on scores generated from reviewing the Web page€™s content, hosting, Domain Name System (DNS) and other information.