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

10/28/2008
10:36 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

SocNets May Boost Insecurity

A new survey of IT managers shows that heavy use of social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and instant messaging may be strongly correlated to a higher number of security incidents.

A new survey of IT managers shows that heavy use of social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and instant messaging may be strongly correlated to a higher number of security incidents.In this recent DarkReading story, Kelly Jackson Higgins writes that a recent vendor survey shows that within organizations where employees are heavy users of Web applications and social networks, security incidents -- and their costs -- rise dramatically:

Nearly 60% of all IT managers surveyed by FaceTime Communications reported that their users [use] social-network at the office. Of those organizations, the ones where more users were using social networking today than six months ago experienced an average of 39 security incidents a month, requiring 24 hours worth of remediation. Those with about the same or fewer users of social networking at work experienced around 22 or 23 such incidents a month, with about half the remediation time.

If you found that interesting, here's another shocker from the story:

Among the most surprising finds in the report, according to Cabri [Frank Cabri, VP of marketing and product management at FaceTime Communications], was that one third of the employees surveyed said they had the right to run these applications on their desktop, even if it was a violation of IT policy. "If applications are attractive and they allow the benefits for work or both, people are willing to go against corporate IT policy," he says.

These employees' flagrant disregard for corporate security policies is costly:

Nearly one-fourth of the organizations had been hit by at least one Web-borne attack, costing the business an average of $50,000 per month, according to the report. Large organizations found this cost them as much as $125,000 a month. The main attacks were viruses, Trojans, and worms (59%), and spyware (57%).

This study included peer-to-peer applications, so I wonder how many of these breaches came from LinkedIn or Facebook. The breaches probably came through in much larger numbers through IM and peer-to-peer file sharing.

I'm not sold on the idea that this study revealed a strong correlation between social networks, like Facebook. As the cliche goes: correlation is not always causation.

It seems the real takeaway is that the more you allow your employees to violate security policies (which were probably established for good reasons), the more likely your company will get hacked.

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-2021-27132
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-27
SerComm AG Combo VD625 AGSOT_2.1.0 devices allow CRLF injection (for HTTP header injection) in the download function via the Content-Disposition header.
CVE-2021-25284
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-27
An issue was discovered in through SaltStack Salt before 3002.5. salt.modules.cmdmod can log credentials to the info or error log level.
CVE-2021-3144
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-27
In SaltStack Salt before 3002.5, eauth tokens can be used once after expiration. (They might be used to run command against the salt master or minions.)
CVE-2021-3148
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-27
An issue was discovered in SaltStack Salt before 3002.5. Sending crafted web requests to the Salt API can result in salt.utils.thin.gen_thin() command injection because of different handling of single versus double quotes. This is related to salt/utils/thin.py.
CVE-2021-3151
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-27
i-doit before 1.16.0 is affected by Stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) issues that could allow remote authenticated attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via C__MONITORING__CONFIG__TITLE, SM2__C__MONITORING__CONFIG__TITLE, C__MONITORING__CONFIG__PATH, SM2__C__MONITORING__CONFIG__PATH, C__M...