Research shows SMBs clamping down on social networking services

In fact, says Webroot, research – which took in responses from more than 1000 businesses employing more than 500 people on both sides of the Atlantic – shows that around half of companies in the SMB sector now block employee access to Facebook.

The study also found that 81% also have an employee internet policy, with 50% saying that staff are not permitted to visit any social networks via a company computer or laptop.

Gerhard Eschelbeck, Webroot's  CTO, said that it is clear that the potential impact of social networks as a threat vector has hit home for IT administrators.

"One in six of those we surveyed said a social networking site or web 2.0 application was the source of an infection or attack, and over half of companies said their network was infected with spyware this year", he said.

As a result, the Webroot CTO is advising that every firm needs to develop a policy for social networking use and should also deploy reliable web security services for ongoing protection against zero-day threats.

Drilling down into the survey data reveals that 42% of mid-sized firms have implemented an internet usage policy as a result of an employees inappropriate use of social networking site, with 34% having deployed a web security product to monitor internet usage and enforce policies.

There is some enlightenment, however, as 21% of respondents say they only allow employees to visit social networking sites during specific times such as a lunch break or after work hours, whilst 16% grant certain departments – such as marketing – special permission to visit specific social networking sites.


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