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Holistic Approach Necessary to Tackle Social Networking Data Security Issues

According to Panda's Security Manager for the UK and Sweden, Sebastian Zabala, , businesses should follow an integrated approach to manage all social networking websites in fighting against data security matters, as reported by Ontrackdatarecovery on October 1, 2010.

Particularly, social engineering is a critical and ongoing threat to businesses, and the increasing popularity of social networking websites is significantly increasing this risk. Business groups should make themselves aware of these threats; employees must be trained to be protected against these attacks. Besides, companies should frequently check their IT security policies and their implementation.

The security researcher recommended companies and businesses to put restrictions at the workplace to lessen the threat of data security matters, if required. This is suggested because employers are the ones responsible for the behavior of their employees. An employee can easily disclose business secrets on social networking websites and then leave his job.

Quoting an example, the security researcher stated that, businesses can allow their employees to browse through Facebook pages, but should not allow them to post when they are inside the office, as reported by ihotdesk on November 1, 2010.

He further stated that, there could not only be a problem of phishing or malware, but there could also be a problem with employees revealing information that businesses don't want to be allotted to them as a company.

Mr. Zabala's point becomes more reliable when certain facts mainly for 'businesses' as highlighted by security firms are taken into consideration.

As per the security firm Proofpoint, nearly 20% of businesses have disclosed private and confidential information through a social networking website on the Internet.

Interestingly, according to the security firm Kaspersky Labs, users, especially employees are 10 times more prone to clicking on malicious links or attachments, if it appears in their social networking profile against their e-mail. Panda Security lately found that one third of small-to-medium sized businesses encountered malware infections that initiated on a social networking website.

Furthermore, according to a study conducted among 1000 organizations, by the security firm McAfee in September 2010 revealed that, 50% of businesses were apprehensive regarding the security of Web 2.0 applications including micro blogging, social media, content sharing tools, web mail, and collaborative platforms. The study further highlights that, overall, businesses annually lose $3.8 Million to cybercrime.

Related article: Hillsdale Mayor Engages in Hacking and Writing Untrue E-Mails

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