Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

2/17/2010
01:03 PM
50%
50%

SMBs Face Growing Risks From Social Networks, Web 2.0

A new SMB survey confirms that social networks and Web 2.0 applications pose a growing threat to SMBs and even those businesses with sufficient defensive resources struggle to thwart cybercriminals.

A new SMB survey confirms that social networks and Web 2.0 applications pose a growing threat to SMBs and even those businesses with sufficient defensive resources struggle to thwart cybercriminals.The mass migration of users to social networks and Web 2.0 applications is old news. More recently, businesses have joined the stampede. Thus, it was only a matter of time before the security threats moved from predicted to bracingly real. The latest evidence of the growing security exposure that businesses risk by embracing social networks and Web 2.0 technologies arrived today in a new survey from Webroot. The Colorado-based provider of security solutions commissioned a survey of more than 800 IT professionals in U.S., U.K., and Australian companies with 100 to 5,000 employees. To say the survey participants are worried would be huge understatement:

  • 80% predicted Web 2.0 malware poses a threat in 2010
  • 73% see Web-based threats as a greater management challenge than email-based threats

Though reality pales in comparison to the level of concern, roughly a quarter of the SMBs surveyed report that the business has been compromised by employees checking personal webmail, accessing social networks, using P2P networking, and downloading media. Based on those indices, the weak link is human behavior (now there's a news flash). In response, the vast majority of SMBs are taking steps to mitigate the employee behavior risk with formal Internet use policies. 88% have a policy and 95% claim they take steps to enforce the policy - begging the obvious rhetorical question, "Why have a policy if you don't enforce it?"

The Webroot survey is hardly the first to identify social networks as a leading threat. Just last month from InformationWeek's Thomas Claburn ranked social media as the top security threat for 2010 based on data from a host of brand name research studies sponsored by the likes of Websense, Breach Security, IBM Internet Security Systems' X-Force, and Symantec. That Webroot's SMB centric survey confirms similar dangers as those at the enterprise levels only underscores the ubiquity of opportunity for cybercriminals.

As this site reported in a review of 2009 SMB Tech Trends, "It's now clear that no company -- no individual, either -- is too small or too insignificant to avoid being targeted by increasingly sophisticated criminal hackers."

In discussing the survey results, Webroot CTO Gerhard Eschelbeck, made a similar point, saying, "Businesses of all sizes are waking up to the reality that threats lurk in new places on the Web including Web 2.0 sites."

More troubling is that even those SMBs that are wide awake to the threat and dedicating resources to it are being torched at alarming rates. Among those in the Webroot survey who believe they had deployed sufficient resources to thwart security threats:

  • 60% were attacked by viruses
  • 57% by spyware
  • 47% by phishing attacks
  • 35% by hacking attacks
  • 32% by SQL injections of their web sites

More results from the survey are available here and Eschelbeck will be delivering a web security trend report that draws, in part, on this survey in his address at the RSA Conference 2010 next month.

Get more InformationWeek SMB security coverage NOW.


Follow me on Twitter @http://twitter.com/benjamintomkins Follow InformationWeek SMB Twitter @http://twitter.com/infoweeksmb Get InformationWeek SMB on your mobile device @http://mobile.bmighty.com

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
News
Former CISA Director Chris Krebs Discusses Risk Management & Threat Intel
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  2/23/2021
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
Security + Fraud Protection: Your One-Two Punch Against Cyberattacks
Joshua Goldfarb, Director of Product Management at F5,  2/23/2021
News
Cybercrime Groups More Prolific, Focus on Healthcare in 2020
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  2/22/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Building the SOC of the Future
Building the SOC of the Future
Digital transformation, cloud-focused attacks, and a worldwide pandemic. The past year has changed the way business works and the way security teams operate. There is no going back.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-20327
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-25
A specific version of the Node.js mongodb-client-encryption module does not perform correct validation of the KMS server’s certificate. This vulnerability in combination with a privileged network position active MITM attack could result in interception of traffic between the Node....
CVE-2021-20328
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-25
Specific versions of the Java driver that support client-side field level encryption (CSFLE) fail to perform correct host name verification on the KMS server’s certificate. This vulnerability in combination with a privileged network position active MITM attack could result in inte...
CVE-2020-27543
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-25
The restify-paginate package 0.0.5 for Node.js allows remote attackers to cause a Denial-of-Service by omitting the HTTP Host header. A Restify-based web service would crash with an uncaught exception.
CVE-2020-23534
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-25
A server-side request forgery (SSRF) vulnerability in Upgrade.php of gopeak masterlab 2.1.5, via the 'source' parameter.
CVE-2021-27330
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-25
Triconsole Datepicker Calendar <3.77 is affected by cross-site scripting (XSS) in calendar_form.php. Attackers can read authentication cookies that are still active, which can be used to perform further attacks such as reading browser history, directory listings, and file contents.