Security Experts:

Security Concerns Primary Roadblock to Corporate Adoption of Web 2.0

A new report released today by IT security giant McAfee indicates that while organizations see the potential value of Web 2.0 tools, decision makers continue to debate whether to use them in the workplace.

Security Risks of Social Media

The report is based on a survey of over 1,000 global business decision-makers in 17 countries. It finds that 75 percent of those queried are using Web 2.0 technology – defined broadly as consumer social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube plus specialized enterprise solutions – for functions such as IT (51 percent), marketing and sales (34 percent), customer relations (29 percent), advertising and public relations (28 percent) and human resources (22 percent).

Revenue potential was cited as the top driver for adoption of Web 2.0 technologies. Three out of four organizations reported that their expanded use created new revenue streams. Forty percent said the tools have boosted productivity and enhanced marketing strategies.

Related Column: Web 2.0 - Should Businesses Block or Embrace?

Security concerns were the primary roadblock to Web 2.0, with half the firms citing fears of malicious software, viruses, overexposure of information and spyware.

A surprising 60 percent of the companies surveyed had suffered large losses averaging $2 million each because of security incidents during the past year, but the potential consequence of Web 2.0 abuse that was most feared in the future (also by 60 percent) was loss of reputation.

Worldwide, 13 percent of organizations block all Web 2.0 activity, while 81 percent restrict the use of at least one Web 2.0 tool because of security concerns.

The new report is titled “Web 2.0: A Complex Balancing Act – The First Global Study on Web 2.0 Usage, Risks and Best Practices.” It was commissioned by McAfee and authored by faculty affiliated with the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) at Purdue University.