Web 2.0 Security Is A Concern For Half Of Global Businesses

Business leaders worldwide are deeply concerned about security threats associated with using Web 2.0 technology.

On September 27, McAfee, Inc. released a survey of over 1,000 global business decision-makers in 17 countries, which revealed that half of businesses were concerned about the security of Web 2.0 applications (including social media, micro blogging, collaborative platforms, web mail, and content sharing tools).

Concerns focus around financial losses (due to security incidents) and reputation damage from inappropriate Web 2.0/social media usage. McAfee announced the report findings in a press release, stating that more than six out of ten organizations have already suffered losses averaging $2 million, for a collective loss of more than $1.1 billion in security related incidents last year.

In addition, 60 percent of global businesses were concerned about loss of reputation, brand, client, or confidence as a result of Web 2.0 misuse. Companies’ top four perceived threats from employee use of Web 2.0 are malicious software (35 percent), viruses (15 percent), overexposure of information (11 percent) and spyware (10 percent). Fourteen percent of organizations reported litigation or legal threats caused by employees disclosing confidential or sensitive information, with more than 60 percent of those threats caused by social media disclosures.

Brazil, Spain and India led in adoption of Web 2.0 technology for business (each at 90 percent or above), while adoption was lowest in Canada, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. New revenue streams are the highest driver of Web 2.0 adoption – three out of four organizations reported that expanded use of Web 2.0 technologies create new revenue streams while 40 percent said the tools have boosted productivity and enhanced effective marketing strategies.

Worldwide, 13 percent of organizations block all Web 2.0 activity (rather than put policies in place) while 81 percent restrict the use of at least one Web 2.0 tool due to security concerns. Yet almost one third of organizations reported that they do not have any social media policy in place. A quarter of organizations monitor how staff use social media and 66 percent have introduced social media policies, 71 percent of which use technology to enforce them.

Overall, the research highlights that while organizations see the potential value of Web 2.0 tools, decision makers continue to debate whether or how to allow employee usage of the technology in the workplace.

See the press release for a more detailed summary of key findings, or download the McAfee “Web 2.0: A Complex Balancing Act – The First Global Study on Web 2.0 Usage, Risks and Best Practices” report at: www.mcafee.com