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PwC: Social media pose risk to data, reputation of businesses
July, 08th 2011

With social and business life blurring at the work place because of new age media, corporates need to guard against cyber attacks and frame long term policies to combat a wide range of risks, including intellectual property theft, says a PwC study. "In today's socially connected workplace, information flows freely between employees and their online followers.

This can pose serious risks to network, data, and reputation," said a study by global audit and consultancy firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC). Quoting statistics from CERT-IT, it said 6,077 Indian websites were defaced from January-May. It said cyber attacks are dangerously effective on social media because they often generate "seductive messages that appear to come from trusted friends".

Businesses should educate employees on the need to protect intellectual property and sensitive information, PwC said, adding, "The business should decide whether employees may access social networking sites from corporate devices (including mobile phones)." As with any policy implementation, the first step concerning social media is to form a business strategy that includes a long-term adoption plan for policies, procedures, and solutions, it added.

The study said the risk of cyber attacks is current and concrete for all organisations worldwide. PwC said cyber-crime is a growing concern for Indian online users, given nearly one in four of them have been victims.

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