Surfing the Internet Increases Companies' Risks of Security Threats

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Spyware and malicious code are big threats to company networks because they can consume bandwidth and compromise security. Recent studies show that company networks are being infected with spyware and malicious code more often through employees surfing the Web. These increasing threats make it imperative for companies to enforce a Web usage policy to protect their networks. Wavecrest Computing suggests that companies monitor and/or filter employee Web use in order to better protect themselves from security threats.

Recent studies have shown that employees surfing the Internet at work put company networks at a higher security risk. According to CNET News, a recent IDC Denmark study found that surfing the Internet poses a bigger risk to companies than email attachments. IDC found that “up to 30% of companies with more than 500 staff have been infected as a result of Internet surfing.”

Symantec recently released their security report on September 25 and found that nearly half of all computer attacks are targeting Web browsers. Because it has been more difficult to get users to open email attachments, hackers are attaching spyware and malicious code to Web sites, so when a user visits the infected site, the spyware or malicious code is automatically downloaded. The spyware can also be attached to Web sites in a banner/ad, link or file.

Sites that are at the most risk are those that enable information to pass between users quickly, e.g., social networking sites and blogs. These sites continue to see an increase in visitors. According to recent studies by comScore Media Metrix, the percentage of visitors to MySpace from the UK increased 467% from July 2005 to July 2006. In July 2006, the average visitor went to the site an average of 5.4 usage days. In the same month, in the US, the average visitor went to MySpace an average of 8.7 days.

To help its customers manage this issue, Wavecrest Computing, a leader in Internet filtering and monitoring software, recently added Social Networking to its category list. Dennis McCabe, vice president of business development at Wavecrest, stated that “We saw a pressing need for a social networking category because of the tremendous increase in traffic to these sites.” He continued by saying that “This is one example of how Wavecrest continually works to meet the needs of its customers as technology advances.”

Per Anderson, IDC Denmark’s Managing Director, stated that “the risk of infection is about five times greater for companies that allow Internet usage by staff to go unhindered and unmonitored.” To reduce the risk of infection, companies need to protect themselves with accurate Web-use management software.

Filtering and/or monitoring employees’ Internet access with one of Wavecrest’s Cyfin or CyBlock software products greatly reduces the risk of security threats and legal liability while helping to increase workforce productivity. In addition to offering Web-use management software, Wavecrest encourages companies to create a Web usage policy and clearly communicate it to their employees.

About Wavecrest Computing:

Since 1996, Wavecrest has provided its clients with reliable employee Web use management software to help them prevent Web abuse, minimize security threats and legal liability risks, optimize bandwidth usage and improve workforce productivity. Wavecrest software is installed in over 3,500 organizations worldwide including the US Department of Justice, Procter & Gamble, Wal-Mart, Volvo, General Electric, British Telecom, Edward Jones, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and many others.

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Dennis Mccabe
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