Increasing use of Internet applications for businesses reveals the need for more user awareness and better application control
CALGARY, AB – September 7, 2010 – Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP), the worldwide leader in securing the Internet, and the Ponemon Institute, a leading privacy and information management research firm, has released the findings of a global survey, Web 2.0 Security in the Workplace, revealing that up to 82 per cent of IT security administrators surveyed believe social networking, Internet applications and widgets have significantly lowered the security posture of their organization. Respondents cited viruses, malware and data loss as the top Web 2.0 concerns, with as many as 77 per cent of businesses planning to implement a solution addressing such vulnerabilities within the next five years.
According to the survey of over 2,100 IT security administrators in countries around the world, the majority of respondents believe employees are essential to helping organizations mitigate security risks associated with emerging Internet applications in the enterprise. However, IT security administrators believe employees rarely or never consider corporate security threats in their everyday business communications – when downloading Internet applications, web browsing, opening links, video streaming, utilizing peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing sites and engaging in social networking outlets. As a result, education and awareness is needed to help end users realize their important role in maintaining the organization’s security profile.
“Our research finds security can be seen as an afterthought for corporate users of Web 2.0 applications; the growing number and sophistication of security threats, coupled with the proliferation of online and easily downloadable tools, is exacerbating the challenges of protecting sensitive information,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute.
“And while this is an issue that must be addressed through strategic investment in technology and awareness, our research also shows that most IT administrators do not believe their organizations have sufficient resources dedicated to securing critical web applications.”
Check Point has long protected companies from emerging security threats. Recently, Check Point announced a new Application Control Software Blade that enables businesses to secure and manage the use of thousands of Web 2.0 applications in the enterprise and — with innovative UserCheck technology — engages employees in the decision-making process, enabling IT administrators to tailor application usage to their specific business needs. The new blade also leverages Check Point AppWiki, the world’s largest application classification database, providing security controls for over 50,000 Web 2.0 widgets and more than 4,500 Internet applications. For more information visit:
“It’s clear that IT security administrators are concerned about the impact of Web 2.0 applications in the enterprise, but they also need better tools to understand which applications employees are using for business purposes,” said Paul Comessotti, Check Point’s Canadian Country Manager. “Implementing a flexible solution that factors in specific group or individual needs provides the bridge between users and IT administrators, and ultimately encourages employees to be more cautious when web browsing, taking into account corporate security policies.”
Additional key findings from the survey:
- Sense of Urgency — Nearly 50 per cent of survey respondents place a high sense of urgency on minimizing security risks associated with internet applications and widgets.
- More User Accountability Needed — The majority of respondents believe that employees should be held most responsible for mitigating Web 2.0 security risks in the enterprise.
- Lack of Education on Corporate Security — An average of 20 per cent of respondents believe employees rarely or never consider security issues when using social networking and Internet applications in their everyday business communications.
- Most Common Problems — Workplace productivity, malware and data loss are cited as the most concerning problems of using new Internet applications in the workplace.
The Web 2.0 Security in the Workplace survey was independently conducted by the Ponemon Institute in June 2010, surveying IT security administrators located in the U.S., U.K. France, Japan and Australia. The survey sample represents a wide range of organizations varying in size – from small and medium businesses to large enterprises – and across 12 different industries, including financial, industrial, government, retail, healthcare and education. To view the full report, visit:
“The survey data shows that organizations recognize the issues with Web 2.0 use in the enterprise and, fortunately, are making it a high priority. Check Point gives companies a practical approach to application control that enables employees to utilize Web 2.0 tools without compromising the security posture of their business,” added Comessotti.
About the Ponemon Institute
The Ponemon Institute© is dedicated to advancing responsible information and privacy management practices in business and government. To achieve this objective, the Institute conducts independent research, educates leaders from the private and public sectors and verifies the privacy and data protection practices of organizations in a variety of industries.