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Jul 2010

Curb your enthusiasm: corporate risk assessment of Web 2.0

Recent research in the UK has measured the frequency and average cost of information security incidents. It’s sobering to realise that very large companies are almost guaranteed to have such an incident every year, at an average cost for the worst incidents of over £1million.

The risks and benefits of corporate use of Web 2.0 tools (known as Enterprise2.0) are rather balanced in the report Beyond Enthusiasm: making the business case for your organisation’s use of Web 2.0. This article intentionally takes a more negative view, concentrating on some specific risks of Web 2.0, how it affects the behaviour of employees, suppliers and data holders; and how it provides new opportunities for cybercrime. Even if your organisation does not itself make use of Web 2.0 technologies, it may be affected by users among its employees, customers, suppliers, and competitors.

Hackers have long known the easiest way to circumvent an information security system is to exploit the people. Simple techniques – such as impersonating IT or company personnel – can be used to gain access to information from unsuspecting employees.

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Curb your enthusiasm: corporate risk assessment of Web 2.0