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Web 2.0 Conquers The Workplace, But Many Security Departments Aren't Ready

Many enterprises are lacking key tools for protecting Web 2.0 data, study says

Enterprises are allowing increasingly wider use of Web 2.0 technologies in the workplace for both business and personal use, but many are not ready to secure those applications, according to a study released Wednesday.

According to "Web 2.0 At Work," a study conducted by research firm Dynamic Markets and commissioned by Web security vendor Websense, some 95 percent of companies currently let their employees access some Web 2.0 applications -- including Webmail, mashups, and wikis -- and 62 percent of IT managers believe that Web 2.0 is necessary to their businesses. IT executives are feeling pressure from all levels of the organization to expand support for Web 2.0 technologies across the enterprise, the study says.

Yet many of the 1,300 IT pros who answered the survey don't have a grip on what constitutes Web 2.0, the study says. Only half of the respondents correctly identified wikis, video uploading sites such as YouTube, and hosted software sites such as Google Docs to be Web 2.0 applications. Only 17 percent of respondents correctly identified all of the items in the survey that might be considered Web 2.0.

More importantly, the study says most of the organizations said they do not have some of the key tools that may be required to secure the Web 2.0 applications they are supporting:

  • 68 percent said they do not have real-time analysis of Web content;
  • 59 percent cannot prevent URL redirects;
  • 53 percent do not have tools that stop spyware from sending information to bots; and
  • 52 percent do not have the ability to detect embedded malicious code on trusted Websites.

    In addition, 47 percent of respondents report that users in their organizations try to bypass their Web security policies.

    The survey results indicate that broad use of Web 2.0 technologies in the workplace has already become a fact, and IT organizations had better get moving in their efforts to secure them, says Jim Haskin, CIO and senior vice president of marketing at Websense. "It's clear that some Web 2.0 technologies have already become indispensable for many businesses, and with the pressure coming from upper management and other lines of business, IT can no longer simply say, 'No' to Web 2.0 at work," 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. 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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