SOURCE: Marshal

January 09, 2008 10:01 ET

Visiting Web 2.0 Sites Increases Corporate Security Risks

Employees Who Access Web 2.0 Sites From Corporate Computers Increase the Probability of Corporate Malware Attacks and Inadvertent Data Leakage

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - January 9, 2008) - The growing popularity of so-called Web 2.0 sites is proportionally increasing the risk of malware attacks and data leakage for companies that allow employees to access social networking sites through corporate computers.

"Web 2.0 sites are vital to those we're calling 'Employee 2.0' -- the next generation of employees entering the workforce that expect the technology they grew up with and routinely use to be part of their working environment," said Steve Sheinbaum, VP of Americas for Marshal. "While managers and senior employees might not think of text chat as a vital part of their lives, young employees probably can't live without it, which means that companies are now facing decisions about their corporate culture and security with Employee 2.0 in mind."

Social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Craigslist and Wikipedia, as well as Web services such as eBay and Gmail, enable self-publishing and high interaction between users through blogs, RSS feeds, podcasts and other technologies. These sites attract huge numbers of visitors, making them extremely attractive to hackers. Moreover, the same technologies that invite user participation also make them easier to corrupt with malware such as worms that can shut down corporate networks, or spyware and keystroke loggers that can steal company data. Further, with the ability to post photos, video and audio recordings to sites, employees can inadvertently "leak" confidential company information.

Companies are realizing how allowing access to these types of sites can compromise corporate information security. Some companies are taking a hard line by prohibiting employees from visiting these sites and are enforcing the policy by blocking access using simple URL filters. Other companies block access and then go to the expense of setting up standalone kiosks that allow employees to visit Web 2.0 sites without exposing the network to malware attacks.

"While Web 2.0 sites clearly pose a threat to corporate network security, making them off limits to employees may not be the best solution," said Sheinbaum. "Many companies understand that being able to access social networking and Web services sites during work hours is important to overall Employee 2.0 satisfaction and may also benefit their business."

Advanced security solutions like Marshal's WebMarshal 6.0 provide the best of both worlds for companies that want to prevent malware attacks from Web 2.0 sites, but still allow employees the freedom to use these sites. WebMarshal goes beyond simple URL filtering to provide real-time malware and content scanning at the Web gateway to protect companies of all sizes from inbound and outbound security threats and data leakage.

"WebMarshal is a one-stop Web gateway security solution for companies of all sizes," said Sheinbaum. "It prevents malware threats, protects employees and networks from viruses and unwanted content, prevents data leakage, and helps companies enforce acceptable use policies and comply with industry and government security regulations and mandates. Unlike other solutions that use a Web crawler to scan websites for malicious code and report on dangerous sites, WebMarshal catches malware at the moment an employee accesses a site, to immediately stop an infiltration."

About WebMarshal

WebMarshal is a total business solution for employee Internet management, combining URL filtering, anti-virus, anti-spyware, content security and productivity management into a single, easy-to-manage solution. WebMarshal enables organizations to apply management policies for security, compliance, behavior and acceptable use to Internet activity -- meeting their obligations to assure a safe and secure working environment for all employees.

About Marshal

Marshal is a global leader in Content Security across multiple protocols, enabling organizations to secure their IT environment, protect against threats and comply with corporate governance needs. Marshal provides customers with a complete portfolio of policy-driven Email and Internet solutions that integrate content filtering, compliance, secure messaging and archiving. Forty percent of the Global Fortune 500 companies use Marshal security solutions to secure their corporate messaging networks and web against internal abuse and external threats such as viruses, spam and malicious code. More than seven million users in 18,000 companies worldwide use Marshal solutions to protect their networks, employees, business assets and corporate reputation and to comply with corporate governance legislation requirements.

Marshal is headquartered in Atlanta (USA) and London (UK) with further offices in Paris (France), Munich (Germany), Johannesburg (South Africa), Houston (USA), Sydney (Australia) and Auckland (New Zealand). More information is available at

Contact Information

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