Using Twitter And Facebook In The Workplace Increases Security Risk, Says Study

A new global study suggests that virus and malware attacks within the workplace have increased because employees are using Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms in the office, largely for personal reasons.

Ponemon Institute, a research organization, polled 4,640 companies around the world, and more than half said that computer attacks had grown directly as a result of staff using social networks.

“Most attacks are socially engineered driven,” said Patrik Runald, a researcher at San Diego-based Websense, who suggests that users are often fooled into clicking on a link “which takes you to a page off of Facebook, where they trick you into downloading something.”

The report revealed that just 35% of firms have a social media policy in place – and of those that do, only 35% enforce it.

“A lot of organizations still didn’t have an acceptable use policy,” said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, adding that “a policy that isn’t vigorously enforced isn’t meaningful.”

Other key takeaways from the report:

  • U.S. workers spend an average of 62 minutes per day using social media in the office for personal reasons, compared with 37 minutes for business purposes
  • Social media is listed as very important to essential to meeting business objectives for 67% of respondents
  • Nearly 60% of organizations have had to increase their bandwidth to accommodate their employees increased use of social media

(Source: Ponemon Institute. Image credit: Kamira via Shutterstock.)


Publish date: September 29, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT