Social networking threat over-hyped, say security chiefs

By Andrew Charlesworth
18 May 2010 View Comments
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Social networking is an over-hyped security threat

Social networking is the most over-hyped security threat around, according to a recent poll of chief security officers, despite a report last month from PricewaterhouseCoopers pointing out the dangers of using social networks in the office.

Discussions at CSO Interchange in London last week where the poll was conducted, indicated a strong preference for companies to ban social networking – with the notable exception of LinkedIn, which most companies consider acceptable.

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Some 75 per cent of companies – a number largely unchanged since last year’s poll – revealed that their organisations had chosen to ban social networking, recognising that this was due to its impact on productivity (which has earned it the nickname social not-working) as much as on security.

The overwhelming majority said that banning company use of social networking tools risked alienating younger members of the workforce who could be tempted to resort to their own mobile devices. Most delegates advocated more education of enterprise users to help them understand how to use social networking tools in a responsible manner.

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