06 Oct 2011

Malware attacks up because of social media, survey says

While social media presents many advantages to businesses and people alike, a new report from the Ponemon Institute said it also increases the risks of malware. Users on websites like Twitter and Facebook should keep updated antivirus software on at all times.

The Global Survey on Social Media risks said that IT security defense should go beyond signature and fixed policy environments and ramp up internet security further. While they are defenses, more is needed. The survey said while 73 percent of respondents said secure web gateways are important to reduce social media threats, 27 percent still do not.

According to the survey, the spread of social media may have caught many companies off guard, as 63 percent agree employee use of social media puts security at risk, while only 29 percent said they have the necessary security controls in place.

"Blocking or ignoring the social media business opportunity just isn't an option. Social media is the new communication platform being fueled by the cloud and mobile technologies that employees are bringing to the workplace," said Tom Clare, Websense senior director of Product Marketing. "While antivirus and firewalls are traditional pillars of a security defense, a new security pillar is required for dynamic web content classification, advanced threat blocking, and data theft protection."