Security professionals put collaboration plans for social networking on hold

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Half of information security professionals are intending to put plans for collaboration on hold over security concerns, according to a survey by Webroot.

Including the use of social networking, instant messaging and other engineering media, the use of collaboration tools has seen some companies increase productivity and efficiencies within companies and between them. However, it has also brought the security challenges of Web 2.0 technologies.


The survey by Webroot also found that 25 per cent of information security professionals will be moving ahead with collaboration plans, despite security concerns, conveying an extremely high commitment to collaboration.  Only 15 per cent of those surveyed had resolved their security issues and were pressing ahead with collaboration plans while the remaining 10 per cent did not have collaboration plans. 


Gerhard Eschelbeck, chief technology officer of Webroot, said: “This survey shows us that the majority of information security professionals have concern for the security issues brought about by collaboration.  This is understandable, because although productivity gains from collaborative working can be substantial, it can leave organisations exposed.


“With the advent of interactive Web 2.0 technologies, malware purveyors have more opportunities to insert their programs onto websites and spread them to users worldwide.  However, we advise companies to embrace collaboration, but deal with security in advance. ”


Don Beck, general manager and senior vice president of the enterprise SaaS business unit for Webroot, claimed that social networking should not be banned, but companies should consider filtering web traffic to combine with putting policies in place.


Beck said: “People can easily post a message saying something like ‘the acquisition is going through and it looks like I will lose my job' which can be damaging to the company.”


Paul Simmonds, Jericho Forum board member and global IS integrated assurance director of AstraZeneca, said: “A quarter of those surveyed will proceed with collaboration, despite security concerns, which is a major indication that collaboration is a prominent direction for business, even those who have not yet addressed security.”

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