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.

Endpoint

11/10/2009
01:54 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Enterprise Adoption Of Social Networking, Collaborative Apps Jumps Worldwide

Live data gathered from real enterprise networks shows major presence of Twitter, Facebook, SharePoint raises security concerns

It's not just all talk: Social networking and collaborative applications are well-entrenched in enterprise networks around the globe, according to a new report that draws from real network data in more than 200 organizations.

Nearly 40 percent of the 651 applications found on the networks covered in the report are Web-based, collaborative-type apps, such as social networking, blogging, and Wikis. SharePoint, Facebook, Twitter, and blogging all experienced double- and triple-digit increases in frequency of their usage in an organization. And more than 70 percent of these applications are browser-based, according to Palo Alto's findings, which were gathered from organizations in financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, government, retail, and education between March and September of this year.

"The frequency of usage of these applications has increased dramatically, and [so has] their resource consumption," says Matt Keil, manager of product marketing for Palo Alto Networks. "Much like IM a few years back, these apps are driven from the bottom up."

But with productivity gains come inherent security risks, according to Palo Alto. Aside from the obvious Web threats, many of these applications also can transfer files, posing both data leak and malware risks to the organization. "Sixty-four percent have known vulnerabilities," Keil says. "And many [28 percent] can propagate malware, and 16 percent can tunnel to other applications...Facebook and Twitter are a target-rich environment. The significant use of these apps needs to be considered."

SharePoint, for instance, was found in 91 percent of the networks, and its bandwidth usage had jumped to 17 times what it was in spring 2009. Blog and wiki usage was nearly 40 times their previous levels, and Twitter usage was used in 89 percent of the cases, a big jump from 35 percent last spring. Twitter bandwidth usage also was up 775 percent. Facebook was found in 94 percent of the organizations, an increase of 192 percent.

"The thing that shocked me was how dominant Facebook is [in the enterprise'," says Chris King, director of product marketing for Palo Alto Networks. "The level of trust associated with Facebook by its users is quite high...So it starts to get interesting."

Palo Alto's Keil says enterprises are either ignoring these apps coming into the organization, or not realizing they are there. "Both of which comes with significant risks," he says. If they block them, users will find ways to circumvent the controls, so they need to allow them in a "positive" way, he says.

"There are business benefits to the use of these apps. It's how people are getting their jobs done," he says.

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. Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 6/1/2020
Stay-at-Home Orders Coincide With Massive DNS Surge
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/27/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-13757
PUBLISHED: 2020-06-01
Python-RSA 4.0 ignores leading '\0' bytes during decryption of ciphertext. This could conceivably have a security-relevant impact, e.g., by helping an attacker to infer that an application uses Python-RSA, or if the length of accepted ciphertext affects application behavior (such as by causing exces...
CVE-2020-13758
PUBLISHED: 2020-06-01
modules/security/classes/general.post_filter.php/post_filter.php in the Web Application Firewall in Bitrix24 through 20.0.950 allows XSS by placing %00 before the payload.
CVE-2020-9291
PUBLISHED: 2020-06-01
An Insecure Temporary File vulnerability in FortiClient for Windows 6.2.1 and below may allow a local user to gain elevated privileges via exhausting the pool of temporary file names combined with a symbolic link attack.
CVE-2019-15709
PUBLISHED: 2020-06-01
An improper input validation in FortiAP-S/W2 6.2.0 to 6.2.2, 6.0.5 and below, FortiAP-U 6.0.1 and below CLI admin console may allow unauthorized administrators to overwrite system files via specially crafted tcpdump commands in the CLI.
CVE-2020-13695
PUBLISHED: 2020-06-01
In QuickBox Community Edition through 2.5.5 and Pro Edition through 2.1.8, the local www-data user has sudo privileges to execute grep as root without a password, which allows an attacker to obtain sensitive information via a grep of a /root/*.db or /etc/shadow file.