New poll reveals the cost in lost productivity as a result of employees browsing social networking sites
The recent popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo are costing UK corporations close to £6.5bn annually in lost productivity, according to a recent poll.
The poll was carried out amongst 776 office workers, who admitted to spending at least 30 minutes a day visiting social networking sites whilst at work, that’s a minimum of 10 hours a month.
The end result is potentially billions of pounds in lost productivity said the study authors, plus the extra demand on bandwidth which is an additional cost to a business in terms of efficiency, maintenance and resources.
The research, conducted by Information security consultancy - Global Secure Systems (GSS) and Infosecurity Europe 2008, also found that CISOs biggest IT concern for 2008 was how to manage social networking sites at work. Many estimated that between 15% and 20% of their current bandwidth is being taken up with social networking sites and the best move forward is to ban these sites altogether.
Claire Sellick – Infosecurity Europe event director said: “It would appear that most CISO and IT Directors loathe social networking sites and if they had their way would ban them completely, but what is also coming across loud and clear is that the HR departments actually welcome the use of these sites – so there is a lot of internal pushing and shoving going on between HR and IT over how best to manage these sites.”
“One FTSE100 CISO reported that they now block Facebook as it was consuming 30% of their bandwidth and they are looking to block both MySpace and e-bay as they consume 10% and 5% of the corporate internet browsing bandwidth.
One FTSE100 CISO reported that they now block Facebook as it was consuming 30% of their bandwidth and they are looking to block both MySpace and e-bay as they consume 10% and 5% of the corporate internet browsing bandwidth.
According to recent research by Computerweekly.com 63% of businesses are planning to monitor or limit staff access to these sites and 17% plan to ban access at work completely over the next 6 months.
David Hobson MD of GSS said: “Social networking sites are now integral to the way that many of the latest and youngest recruits into the workforce communicate and work, so for some sectors social networking sites may have a part to play in terms of competitive advantage or used for research or as a marketing tool. It comes down to a fine balancing act – and mostly a case of introducing a “reasonable use” policy.”
“However, what is apparent are the serious security implications associated with social networking, where hackers, exploiters and extortionists are worming their way into these sites extracting all sorts of information on the members – our advice as always to anyone using these sites is to give as little personal information away as possible.” said Hobson.