Security fears spark social media clampdown

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Security fears spark social media clampdown

Simon Quicke

We are all meant to be getting more social but with the likes of Twitter and Facebook identified as sources of security threats more firms are clamping down on the use of networking sites.

Over the past six months the rise in the use of social networking sites as a launch pad for cyber attacks has been a constant theme and warning made by vendors and according to the latest research from Clearswift has taken its toll on customers.

The security vendor's latest WorkLifeWeb 2011 research sows that the number of firms blocking access to social media sites has risen to 19%, a 10% rise compared to last year.

It also shows that Europe is moving out of kilter with the US, where 30% of companies are actively encouraging their staff to communicate through social media platforms.

Although 80% of customers recognise the business benefits that communicating through social media produces a significant number of them cannot get over their security fears.

Andrew Wyatt, chief operating officer at Clearswift, said there had been a change since it did its last report a year ago with a clampdown from a lot of customers.

"It's clear that we have seen some significant changes in attitude to social media in the last twelve months. Businesses have reacted to the series of high profile data leaks and have become increasingly nervous about its usage in the workplace," he said.

"Rather than embracing new channels of communication, companies have clamped down and become overtly defensive which is consequently stifling potential avenues of growth," he added.

Wyatt believes that this is a knee-jerk reaction to the recent issues and not a long-term trend.

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