Social Media Sites Present Security Risks To Businesses Of All Sizes

Posted on: October 13th, 2011 by Heather 6 Comments

Social media and Web 2.0 have changed the way people interact online - it's never been easier to get updates from your friends, family and others that you've connected with online.

Businesses and Social Media Need To Work In Balance

Businesses and Social Media Need To Work In Balance


With this ease comes the reality that not everyone publishing information at these websites is looking out for your best interest. Many of these larger sites rely heavily on user contributed content and aren't consistently moderated by website management, making them a playground for Spammers to provide malicious links and URL's to unsuspecting folks.


This trend is troublesome for businesses of all sizes


A recent study conducted by Websense found that 52 per cent of 4,600 IT organizations polled had experienced an increase in malware attacks as a direct result of employees' use of social media. Additionally, they found that employees spent around 30 minutes daily at social media sites.


These numbers represent a trend that indicates higher costs for businesses due to virus removals, computer repairs and lost wages from employees conducting personal business during their scheduled work hours.


Higher Operating Costs Make You Less Competitive


It's no secret that higher operating costs make your business less competitive with others that are able to keep their operating costs lower. This is why businesses that implement Web Content Security are smart to be ahead of their employees and protect their computer networks against scams and viruses that are being promoted at these popular websites.


Web Content Security software addresses these two key concerns by allowing IT managers to set social media access rules for all employees without having to stand over their shoulders all day long. These access rules can be set by department or on an individual basis which allows you to keep control of when (and where) your employees are spending their time online.


For instance, you might want to grant your Social media department access to your Facebook fan page for the whole day, but limit access to their personal Facebook page to only during their lunch hour. Web content filtering allows your IT department to enforce these rules without causing an embarrassing situation or confrontation between business management and employees.


Furthermore, any URL that your employees attempt to visit will be screened and analyzed to detect the presence of malware, spyware and other types of malicious code that could result in trojans or other types of network intrusions. Any link or URL that's determined to contain harmful, unauthorized or illegal content will be blocked, stopping your employees right in their tracks and stopping computer issues before they get a chance to make it on your network.


If you're ready to put web content filtering controls into place to minimize the threats posed by social media us at your workplace, we can help! Give us a call at 1-877-270-7753 or request a no obligation, risk free quote on web security services.

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6 Responses

  1. Sire

    October 14, 2011

    It always amazes me how workers take advantage of their employer, whether it’s knocking off company stationary or wasting company time by abusing certain privileges like their internet access.

    Employers shouldn’t have to use such software but fortunately for those companies that produce it they are a necessity in this day and age.

  2. Heather

    October 14, 2011

    Thanks for commenting Sire.

    Even if employees aren’t directly trying to take advantage of their employers, clicking on an infected link or a malicious website could put the employer’s entire computer network at risk. With the proliferation of sites like Twitter, it’s easier than ever to promote this type of website and get people to click.

    As the stakes get higher, I think that more businesses and organizations will implement software in order to protect their data and to keep employees from clicking at places they shouldn’t.

    • Sire

      October 14, 2011

      Sure but the simple fact that they could be spending up to half an hour a day on social sites when they should be working is costing the employer money.

      They, the employer, would be better off using software that hiders the employee from accessing the Internet at all other than for company business.

      • Heather

        October 17, 2011

        You’re right about that. If you have 100 employees spending 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week on social networking sites, that quickly adds up to 15,000 minutes of lost productivity (or about 250 hours)

        If you’re paying an average of $15/hour that’s $3,750.00 in lost payroll/wages… a week.

        Software is an excellent solution because it offers IT departments the ability to set parameters, without cutting people off entirely, but managing their use of it instead. It also keeps them away from URL’s and sites that have malware, viruses, trojans or other types of malicious code so they can protect their network at the same time.

  3. Darren McLaughlin

    October 14, 2011

    Employees are just people, like all of us! And like all of us, mistakes are possible, especially when you consider how these attacks use ‘social engineering’ to trick everyone. Say someone is at work on a busy day and they get an email or a Facebook alert that notifies them about something really exciting. They get emotional, forget their senses, and click away. It happens every day.

    The only way to stop these attacks is for IT to set secure policies.

    • Heather

      October 17, 2011

      Yes, and the fact that they are designing these messages to fool people is working! All it takes is a second to make the wrong call on a message that contains malware to infect an entire network..