This has been a very social summer. While many (it will soon be just “some,” I hope) VARs still pooh-pooh the notion that social media or social networks will mean all that much to their business, there is one very tangible way that technology solution providers can participate in the dialogue right away: by figuring out what this means for their clients’ security posture.
Software developer Websense conducted a survey to gauge the use of Web 2.0 applications in places of work. What it found was this: approximately 95 percent of IT managers allow access to some form of Web 2.0 or social media, but only 9 percent have security policies in place to protect these environments. (The Websense survey covered 1,300 IT managers in 10 countries. You can find more information about the data at this link.)
Incidentally, there is a separate study out from Proofpoint last week, which suggests that 8 percent of U.S. companies have fired at least one employee due to a breach of data privacy or other internal policy related to social media. The release for the study can be found here.
What are the potential dangers? David Meizlik, product marketing manager for Web and data security with Websense, says that for the most part, we’re talking about the usual suspects such as spyware that gleans corporate information, embedded malicious code and other forms of malicious content that should be filtered before it reaches a business desk.
Not surprisingly, Websense has a strategy for addressing these problems, which comes in the form of its Web Security Gateway.
Meizlik says another Websense service, which businesses can use in conjunction with their blogs, is called Defensio.com. Defensio is used on thousands of Web sites to filter content that people post as comments to blogs, filtering out both malicious content and anything that falls into the realm of spam. It can also be used on internal blogs, as well.
Probably worth it to bone up on both technologies.