Soc Blocked! Half of SMBs Now Prevent Employee Access to Social Media

Updated: November 17, 2010

According to Webroot CTO Gerhard Eschelbeck, "One in six of those we surveyed said a social networking site or Web 2.0 application was the source of an infection or attack and over half of companies said their network was infected with spyware this year." So, it is no wonder that employers are getting tough on social network use in the workplace.

Variants of the Koobface social networking worm and other threats are multiplying and they are taking a disproportionate toll on smaller companies. Larger enterprises can afford the dedicated hardware, software and personnel needed to deflect these threats and still allow employees to make legitimate use of social networking sites and rich Internet applications.

Another growing security problem for companies of all sizes is "data leakage" through social networks. That is where sensitive company information, proprietary data, or personal information about employees is exposed through social network use by employees. Again, there are a growing array of tools and techniques that large companies are using to prevent this from happening.

But, smaller companies that have not employed such IT resources in the past are now finding that they either must make the investment or take a more heavy handed approach to dealing with these problems, as the research shows.

  • 42 percent have implemented an Internet use policy as a result of an employee's inappropriate use of social networking site; more than one-third (34 percent) deployed a Web security product to monitor Internet use and enforce policies;
  • Four in ten of those polled (39 percent)have an Internet use policy that prohibits employees from visiting Facebook, 30 percent block access to Twitter and 27 percent from video-sharing sites like YouTube
  • Two in 10 SMBs (21 percent) only allow employees to visit social networking sites during specific times (lunch break, after work hours, etc.)
  • 16 percent grant certain departments (e.g., marketing) permission to visit specific social networking sites

More than half of the SMBs surveyed said that they were very or extremely concerned about social network malware infections and almost half said the same thing about data leakage.

Related Categories
Featured Research
  • Baselining Best Practices

    IT must ensure new applications are rolled out quickly, reliably, and without risk, while at the same time guaranteeing performance and availability. Read this VirtualWisdom white paper to find out how to achieve application-aligned infrastructure performance, and more. more

  • Next Generation End User Experience Management: APM

    In an era of new technologies and cloud-based application delivery models, your business success depends on your ability to ensure optimal application performance and quality user experiences at all times. This complimentary white paper from AppNeta will enlighten you to the new frontiers in end user experience management and much more. more

  • Video: Create an Integrated, Collaborative Microsoft Lync Environment

    Consider HP as your Microsoft Lync Solutions provider! more

  • Optimizing Application Delivery to the Network Edge

    Increasingly, the success of business is being tied to the network. The transformation of the network and IT can help organizations deliver and support highly available applications and services while reacting more quickly to changes in the business environment. In this complimentary white paper from IDC, learn how HP can help its customers and partners improve the overall application experience. more

  • Networking Routers Buyer's Guide for SMB & Enterprise

    This buyer's guide presents an overview of leading products on the market today and aims to improve research for companies needing to purchase or upgrade their equipment. more