InfoSec 2009: Security worries hold back firms' collaborative tech plans

Half of businesses are delaying collaborative technology plans because they are concerned about security, according to a survey.

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Half of businesses are delaying collaborative technology plans because they are concerned about security, according to a survey.

But another quarter will forge ahead with plans, even though they are aware of security issues, the survey found. Only 15 percent had resolved their security issues.

Collaborative technology plans include the use of tools that enable people to work together through social networking, instant messaging, wikis and video conferences. Only one in 10 businesses said they did not have any such plans.

Paul Simmonds, member of the board at independent security group the Jericho Forum and integrated assurance director at pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, said that if a quarter of firms would proceed with collaboration despite security concerns, it was “a major indication that collaboration is a prominent direction for business”.

“However, to collaborate securely requires a supportive architecture,” he said, adding that firms should use "collaboration oriented architecture" whereby they design systems specifically around internal and external collaboration.

Speaking this week at the Infosecurity event in London, Gerhard Eschelbeck, chief technology officer at Webroot, which commissioned the survey, said it was “understandable” that businesses were concerned about the security of collaborative technology, given the opportunities to insert malware programs onto websites.

Nevertheless, he advised firms to “embrace collaboration, but deal with security in advance”.

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