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Report Shows Heavily Regulated Industries Letting Social Networking Apps Run Rampant

Healthcare and financial services firms use an average of 28 social networking applications and p2p, according to the recent Application Usage and Risk Report published by Palo Alto Networks.

Healthcare and financial services firms use an average of 28 social networking applications and p2p, according to the recent Application Usage and Risk Report published by Palo Alto Networks. These heavily regulated industries are as “connected” as universities in terms of social networking and other Web 2.0 or “rogue” apps, and have little control over social networking applications and risks as such application usage continues to increase.Palo Alto Networks

While financial services and healthcare workers increasingly rely on social media for business collaboration, they often ignore the associated risks such as non-compliance, data loss and threat propagation.

“IT managers cannot simply block Enterprise 2.0 applications since they deliver clear business value. Nor can they simply allow these apps to run amok on their networks. IT needs to safely enable Enterprise 2.0,” said René Bonvanie, vice president of worldwide marketing at Palo Alto Networks. “By defining and enforcing policies that safely enable these apps, IT can enhance business productivity while mitigating security risks and compliance violations.”

The Application Usage and Risk Report is a semi-annual study that assesses real-world application traffic in hundreds of organizations worldwide, the latest report covering 347 organizations and nearly 1,000 applications.

Other key highlights from the report include:

·       Applications aren’t always what they seem 

o   65% can hop from port to port, use port 80, or hide within SSL 190 are client-server or peer-to-peer based and 177 of the applications can tunnel other applications 

o   190 are client-server or peer-to-peer based—not port 80/443

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·       Bandwidth consumed by Facebook, per organization, is a staggering 4.9 GB

·       Financial services, universities and healthcare all show similar usage patterns 

Additional information on the applications identified by Palo Alto Networks is available at their Application & Threat Research Center. 

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