October 16, 2010 SOCIAL NETWORKS

Your Business and the Threat from Social Networks

In the October issue of The Monitor, our quarterly e-newsletter, we have a very interesting story that focuses on why it’s essential that social networking applications at the office are secure.

Many social network sites like Twitter are becoming important business tools for companies, so arbitrarily blocking everything may actually be counterproductive. The key is to make sure you have proper safeguards, as viruses and Trojans can quickly pop up and infect your network.

One thing is a given – corporate networks are going to come under greater attack in the months to come as social media becomes more ubiquitous at the office. Hackers, fraudsters, phishers, disgruntled ex-employees, etc., would all love to take advantage – and take control of business networks.

In addition, there may be assaults on applications allowing us to make and receive voice and video calls online. Toll fraudsters, for example, use Session Initiation Protocol – or SIP – (networks use these to control multimedia activity) to swindle businesses. Many businesses wrongly assume that they’re protected from such fraudulent activity because they have locked down their IP private branch exchange to their SIP provider.

Wrong! All this does is effectively ‘outsource’ their security posture to the SIP trunk provider whose attitude to security is likely to be different.

So, while the threat from social networks and applications is rapidly growing, you can take proactive steps now to mitigate the potential business risks. First and foremost – invest in a strong and flexible data security solution – your business will be protected and you’ll further ensure that you’re defended against new threats as they materialize.