The Web as Enterprise Threat

By Brian P. Watson  |  Posted Tuesday, January 06, 2009 19:01 PM

No one doubts that the Web helps businesses make big gains in productivity, but security pros have always worried about the security threats it brings. And now new numbers show just how threatening it can be.

A new study from Purewire, a SaaS security vendor, conducted by Osterman Research, finds that corporate IT pros fear that the Web is the dominant enterprise polluter (via malware), and there's little they've been able to do about it. And with mobility and remote working on the rise, security pros are having an even tougher time.

A few telling findings:

- 48 percent of respondents worry about supporting Web applications for remote workers.

- About half of respondents are concerned or very concerned about ensuring that remote workers don't visit "undesirable" Web sites. Forty-four percent fear productivity losses from workers surfing the Web.

"The bottom line is that the Web and Web applications pose a serious conundrum: the productivity gains and cost savings from use of these tools can be significant and will become more important given the pressures resulting from the current economic crisis, but these tools create enormous risk for organizations of any size," the report states.

Then comes the question of what to do about all the risk. A low number of respondents say they've struggled to lock down desktops.

Check out the full report for more. Fair warning: the third page focuses on why SaaS applications (which Purewire specializes in producing) are helpful. The rest looks very un-self-serving.

But back to the malware issue: how much damage has malware done to your company in terms of systems security and productivity? What are you doing to stop it?