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Half Of SMBs Block Social Networks At Work Due To Security Concerns

One in six small businesses say they have been infected through Web 2.0, Webroot study says

Half of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) say their employees are not permitted to visit any social networks via a company computer or laptop, according to a study published today. "Clearly the potential impact of social networks as a threat vector has hit home for IT administrators," said Gerhard Eschelbeck, CTO of Webroot, the security service provider that conducted the survey. "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."

While 81 percent of SMBs say they have a policy on the use of social networks in place, many also say they have made changes in those policies as a result of an employee's misuse of these sites. Forty-two percent have implemented an Internet use policy as a result of an employee's inappropriate use of social networking site.

Four in 10 of those polled (39 percent) have a policy that prohibits employees from visiting Facebook. Thirty percent block access to Twitter, and 27 percent block video-sharing sites like YouTube.

Two in 10 SMBs (21 percent) allow employees to visit social networking sites only during specific times, such as during lunch break or after work hours.

More than half of those polled (53 percent) say they are "very" or "extremely" concerned about malware infections via social networks. Two out of five (42 percent) are very or extremely concerned about data leakage through social networking sites.

More than one in 10 (12 percent) say sensitive company information has been released via their employee's use of social networking sites this year.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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