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Social Media is the newest playground for cybercriminals

Cisco's Annual Security Report for 2009 highlights the impact of social media, particularly social networking, on network security and explores the critical role that people, not technology, play in creating opportunities for cybercriminals. The report also discusses trends in cloud computing, spam and overall global cybercrime activities that information technology professionals continue to face.

Social media experienced explosive growth in 2009. Facebook alone tripled its active user base to 350 million over the course of the year. Social media adoption is expected to continue growing into 2010, especially as more organizations realize the value of social networks as an absolute business requirement. Social networks have quickly become a playground for cybercriminals because members of these sites put an inordinate amount of trust in the other members of their communities and often fail to take precautions to prevent the spread of malware and computer viruses.

"The blending of social media for business and pleasure increases the potential for network security troubles, and people, not technology, can often be the source. Without proper cognizance of security threats, our natural inclination to trust our 'friends' can result in exposing ourselves, home computers and corporate networks to malware", says Patrick Peterson, Fellow, Cisco. "The value of social media is becoming acknowledged increasingly by businesses, but these same organizations need to provide the proper training and education to ensure that employees avoid compromising themselves and their businesses."

The Annual Security Report also provides more information on the potentially devastating combination of minor vulnerabilities, poor user behavior, and outdated security software that can dramatically increase risks to network security.

 
 
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