social networkingThe success of Social Networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn is all about the WEb 2.0 era. The popularity of them is growing day  by day and people have started finding answers to theor problems through searches with these sites.

However, often, they are considered to be a big time-wasters and a drain on the productivity by corporates.

They even go as far as blocking the access to these websites through their networks. And they cite various reason for that.

Reasons for Blocking the Access to Social Networking Sites

Sophos, a well known security vendor had conducted a survey of several companies to determine the exact reasons, why they block these sites. There are some interesting facts to find.

63 per cent of system administrators worry that employees share too much personal information via their social networking profiles, putting their corporate infrastructure – and the sensitive data stored on it – at risk

Some of the interestig facts revealed are…

  • The primary reason for blocking these websites are: Loss of productivity, Threat of Malware, infections and Loss of Sensitive Data.
  • As many as 22 percent of the IT administrators admitted to have themselves come across a phishing attempt or a malware threat of these social networking sites.
  • A typical method of attack is for hackers to compromise accounts by stealing usernames and passwords – often using phishing or spyware – and then, use this profile to send spam or malicious links to the victims’ online friends and colleagues. Sophos research reveals that one third of respondents have been spammed on social networking sites, while almost one quarter (21 percent) have been the victim of targeted phishing or malware attacks.

Sophos lists some pieces of advice to help corporates to avoid getting their PC Security jeopardized through the use and access to these social networking sites.

  1. Educate your workforce about online risks – make sure all employees are aware of the impact that their actions could have on the corporate network
  2. Consider filtering access to certain social networking sites at specific times – this can be easily set by user groups or time periods for example
  3. Check the information that your organisation and staff share online – if sensitive business data is being shared, evaluate the situation and act as appropriate
  4. Review your Web 2.0 security settings regularly – users should only be sharing work-related information with trusted parties

Further details to the survey are available here at Sophos Website.