A new survey on social media risks has revealed a dangerous gap in Australian corporate social media security, according to unified Web security, email security, and data loss prevention (DLP) solution provider, Websense.
The survey, conducted by the Ponemon Institute, surveyed 300 IT and IT security practitioners in Australia on what they think about the security risks that are associated with employee use of social media.
According to Websense, this is the first such study to reveal social media is considered vital for an Australian organisation’s ability to attain its business objectives.
Six key findings arose from the research, which include:
- Most respondents agreed that the use of social media in the workplace is significant to achieving business objectives but 56 per cent of them felt employees’ use of social media in the workplace presents a serious security threat to their organisation. Also, only 33 per cent believe they have the necessary controls in place to moderate the risks.
- 47 per cent of the respondents’ companies lack policies that inform employees about the acceptable use of social media in the workplace and 13 per cent of them were unsure if such a policy exists. Of the organisations with a policy, only 32 per cent said the policy is enforced.
- The respondents named networking with friends inside the company (79 per cent), networking with friends outside the company (54 per cent) and the use of social network as an email or texting channel (49 per cent) as the most acceptable uses of it in the workplace. The least acceptable reason was downloading apps or widgets from social media sites (7 per cent).
- 84 per cent of respondents mentioned diminished employee productivity and IT bandwidth 78 per cent as the two most negative consequences due to an increase in the use of social media in the workplace. 56 per cent were worried about the loss of confidential information or violation of confidentiality policies and 47 per cent think an increase in virus or malware infections will be a consequence of increased usage.
- 56 per cent of respondents believed viruses and malware infections were increasing as a result of social media use. Technologies considered by respondents to be most important to reducing or mitigating social media threats are endpoint security solutions, anti-virus/anti-malware and identity and access management.
59 per cent of respondents said that employees spend more than 30 minutes each day on non-business social media activities. However, only 30 per cent estimated that more than 30 minutes is spent on social media for business purposes each day.
Please note: This vendor-sponsored reasearch and should be considred with this in mind