A new study from Gigamon reveals that social media apps could present the biggest security threat to enterprises.

Carried out at Infosecurity Europe, the company surveyed 217 IT professionals to discover their attitudes towards the apps used by employees and their potential security implications.

The surveyed showed that 26% of organisations do not know how many applications are being added to their network every day. Considering that 17% are adding more than ten, this could represent a significant security risk.

Worryingly, 14% do not have policies in place to manage the security of the apps on their network, which could be putting corporate data at risk and 11% did not know if tools are deployed to manage their security.

Social media apps as a vector for malware

Social media apps were revealed as the worst culprits in potentially bringing malware into an organisation. 43% named this category of app as most likely to spread malware, with television streaming apps, gaming apps and messaging apps also posing a risk.

According to Computer Weekly, social media platforms contain several different ways  for malware to infiltrate users through “adverts, shares and plug-ins”. This highlights the need for IT professionals within organisations to keep a close eye on what applications are entering their network, paying close attention to social media use.

Ollie Sheridan, security engineer for EMEA at Gigamon explains that while applications can be useful for organisations, this should not come at the expense of security:

“Today’s organisations are heavily dependent on applications, and employees will often use them to perform key parts of their job. However, it also means these applications can have access to sensitive corporate data which could put an organisation at risk if it fell into the wrong hands.

“Organisations should therefore treat applications as part of their own network and aim to have complete visibility of their functions. Security should always be paramount when new applications are being deployed.”


Read more: How Veracode is ensuring application security is top of the business agenda.