Security concerns hinder adoption of social media: Global survey

Brazil, Spain and India lead in business use of Web 2.0 technology

Business leaders around the world see the value of social media in supporting productivity and driving new revenue but are still very concerned about security threats associated with Web 2.0 technology, according to a new survey.

One-half of the 1,000 global business decision-makers in 17 countries surveyed said they were concerned about the security of Web 2.0 applications such as social networks, micro blogging, collaborative platforms, web mail and content sharing tools. One-third of respondents said these concerns were the main reason Web 2.0 applications are not used more widely in their business.

Web 2.0: A Complex Balancing Act – The First Global Study on Web 2.0 Usage, Risks and Best Practices, commissioned by security software firm McAfee, also found 60 per cent of respondents were concerned about loss of reputation as a result of Web 2.0 misuse.

“Web 2.0 technologies are impacting all aspects of the way businesses work,” said George Kurtz, chief technology officer at McAfee. “As Web 2.0 technologies gain popularity, organizations are faced with a choice – they can allow them to propagate unchecked, they can block them, or they can embrace them and the benefits they provide while managing them in a secure way.”

Key report findings:

• Web 2.0 adoption rates are highest in Brazil, Spain and India. Adoption is lowest in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

• Seventy-five per cent of organizations reported that expanded use of Web 2.0 technologies create new revenue streams while 40 per cent said the tools have boosted productivity and enhanced effective marketing strategies.

• Companies’ top four perceived threats from employee use of Web 2.0 are malicious software (35 per cent), viruses (15 per cent), overexposure of information (11 per cent) and spyware (10 per cent).

Worldwide, 13 per cent of organizations block all Web 2.0 activity while 81 per cent restrict the use of at least one Web 2.0 tool because they are concerned about security.

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