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Cybersecurity: People Are Weakest Link

Yesterday security company Sophos warned against websites hosting a viral video of ESPN's Erin Andrews. Today the company is reporting that people are the weakest link in cybersecurity. Why? Because of social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and MySpace. According to the Sophos Security Threat Report, criminals are "doubly" exploiting these websites, using them to identify potential victims and then attack them at work and at home.

The big concern is that employees share too much personal information on the social networks while on the job, thereby putting the entire network--including sensitive company data--at risk. "The honeymoon period of these sites is over, and personally identifiable information is at risk as a result of by constant attacks that the websites are simply not mature enough to protect against," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

A pie chart provided by the document reveals that 33.4-percent of employees questioned have been spammed on a social networking site; 21-percent have been phished, and 21.2-percent were sent malware. Imagine a co-worker loading up Twitter and then following a link to a phishing website, thus inadvertently providing a company username and password.

Sophos suggests that corporations should run web security solutions that check every link and webpage as it is clicked on to protect employees from malware and other suspicious activity. Sophos also added that corporations should consider allowing access to social networks during lunch, and apply multi-layered security at both the gateway and at the endpoint.

For the full report, read the PDF right here.

  • kittle
    All those sites are outright blocked where I work so its a non-issue -- at least during working hours.
  • dingumf
    This is old news since dawn of man.
  • Firehead2k
    How about doing actual work instead of wasting time on sites like those? 33.4% of employees questioned were not doing their job.
  • gekko668
    Tell me something that I don't already know.
  • megamanx00
    And yet some companies see the social networks as a job requirement *cough Bestbuy cough*.
  • kelfen
    old as dirt
  • apmyhr
    Wait, you mean to tell me that spammers and hackers win because people are dumb? No way! Its M$ fault!
  • lowguppy
    Yeah, lock quality has never been a problem, getting into anything just involves tricking the guard into opening it for you with the key.
  • Zenthar
    I had a security class at my university and our teacher mentioned a survey (a while back so things hopefully have changed) where about 13% of people would have given their password to a coworker in exchange for a chocolate bar ... security starts at the user level.
  • Roffey123

    No s*** sherlock.