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Lack of Security Controls in Social Media

According to a recent report titled "Global Survey on Social Media Risks", from the Ponemon Institute IT professionals regard social media as a significant business tool within an enterprise though they are pretty conscious about not acquiring the right technology and policies to deal with dangers, as reported in the eweek on September 29, 2011.

Around 4,640 IT security practitioners were surveyed across the globe on the problems faced due to the augmented use of social media. Though respondents believed on the important role played by social networking technology within an organization, 63% agreed or strongly agreed that these tools posed a serious threat to their organizations. Only a mere 29% agreed that their organizations had the essential controls in place towards mitigating or reducing the risks.

However, the survey respondents indicated that the social media is the gateway towards malware circulation. More than 50% of survey respondents agreed on witnessing a rise in social media malware circulation, whereas 23% disagreed with the fact. 25% remained indifferent and said that they were unsure of the issue.

Nevertheless, in the context of ascertaining the most efficient security tools for combating security problems, a blend of several technologies comes to matter. On being asked to name some of the significant technologies essential for reducing the risks occurred due to social media in the place of work, seven technologies were distinguished. Network intelligence (51%), data loss prevention (52%), mobile device management (60%), identity and access management (66%), secure Web gateways (73%), endpoint security systems (74%), and virus/anti-malware (76%). Both device-level encryption and encryption solutions (45%) also scored relatively high at 45% each with content-aware firewalls, IPS and IDS, and database security solutions named far less often.

According to the report, survey sponsor, Tom Clare, Senior Director of product marketing at Websense, in order to circumvent the dangerous aspects of social media from spreading, it is most important to conduct a risk assessment for understanding the practices that threaten a company. Substantially, some guidelines and a comprehensive policy should be drafted for adherence on the use of social media by employees and contractors. Last but not the least, employees should be educated about the ways their actions could impact a business, reported scmagazineus on September 29, 2011.

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