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Published Monday, October 3, 2011 9:38 PM by Talia James

Social media is increasingly playing a larger role in business. But are companies fully prepared to handle the accompanying security risks? Bloomberg recently published an article on a Websense and Ponemon global study, and it turns out that most companies aren’t very well-equipped to deal with the increase in computer attacks that come hand-in-hand with an increase in social media usage.

Bloomberg notes that out of 4,640 organizations surveyed by Websense and Ponemon, more than half said that virus and malware attacks grew as a direct result of employees using social networks. 29 percent of those respondents said the attacks rose by more than 50 percent. Despite noticing this major increase, only 35 percent of IT security professionals from these organizations said that they had an acceptable use policy for social media at work. Of those, only 35 percent enforce it.

The viruses and malicious attacks use a simple, yet effective, approach to attract victims. Websense Senior Security Research Manager Patrik Runald is quoted on how they work:

“Most attacks are socially engineered driven,” said Patrik Runald, a researcher at San Diego-based Websense. Users may be enticed to click on a video, for example, “which takes you to a page off of Facebook, where they trick you into downloading something.”

 The article also cites additional statistics from the Websense report, which you can download here.

Read a blog post on the study by Tom Clare, Senior Director of Product Marketing here.

Need an example of a social media acceptable use policy for your organization? Get it for free here.


Published Friday, September 30, 2011 10:09 PM by Talia James

While IT professionals acknowledge that social media holds benefits for the enterprise, many have expressed concern that they lack the tools to deal with the associated risks. eWeek recently published an article featuring the findings from Websense and Ponemon’s “Global Survey on Social Media Risks.”

eWeek highlights that the biggest risks came from employees downloading malicious apps. 52 percent of respondents said that their companies experienced an increase in viruses and malware attacks as a direct result of employees using social media.

While organizations consider social media a positive way to encourage collaboration and build relationships, 65 percent of respondents were unsure if their organization had an acceptable use policy for social media, or said that it was not enforced.

It is important for organizations to understand the security risks associated with social media. Need an example of a social media acceptable use policy for your organization? Get it for free here.

Download the full report here.

Check out an infographic on social media security risks here.


Published Monday, June 13, 2011 1:56 AM by Talia James

In a recent article, Computer Weekly covered SpeakUp, a live event on securing the social web that took place in London last week. In the article, the author describes how Carl Leonard of the Websense Security Labs created an exploit using a very simple Facebook application kit that only costs $25. Leonard, Websense senior security researcher, explains how easy it is for hackers to purchase and create malicious viral apps. Not only do the kits come complete with templates, files and scripts for publishing, they also provide additional web pages for bogus offers for things like iPads, gift cards and surveys to collect personal information.

“Good way to illustrate how low the barriers to entry have fallen” – Warwick Ashford, Blogger

Indeed, security barriers in social media are continuously crumbling. Protect yourself by downloading Websense free application, Defensio for Facebook, which enables you to monitor any malicious content on your Facebook page or company wall. You can also learn how to protect your company’s use of social media with our Social Media Acceptable Use Policy Kit. For more information on SpeakUp (including recordings of the event) click here.




Published Tuesday, June 7, 2011 1:55 AM by Talia James

In a recent article, the Financial Times highlights the evils that come along with the benefits of social networking. While social networks connect millions of people around the world, they simultaneously provide an easily-exploited platform for cybercriminals to operate on. This article calls attention to the imminent dangers of over-sharing personal information via Facebook, and then proceeds to describe criminal social media tactics in other digital spheres like email and Twitter.

The Financial Times highlights Websense® for the discovery of a Twitter scam in the days surrounding the death of Osama bin Laden. The scam worked to lure unsuspecting users to a phishing site to capture their login information.

“OMG CNN confirmed they found Osama alive still!!” was one of the hundreds of malicious tweets posted every second that played on the public’s fascination of the death of Osama bin-Laden. The tweets were accompanied by a malicious link using Bit.ly (a link shortening service), making it difficult for users to discern whether the link was legitimate or not.

Remember from our 2010 Threat Report, searching for breaking trends and current news represents a higher risk (22.4%) than searching for objectionable content (21.8%). We urge you to take extra precautions when searching for hot-button topics on the web. You never know if you’re going to click on a malicious link masked by a legitimate site name – it could put you and your entire organization at risk. When in doubt, run suspicious-looking links through AceInsight.com – it’s a free service from Websense that you can use any time to scan URLs for malicious content.