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Cisco Study Highlights Social Networking Threat

Businesses are under constant threat from malware coming via social networking platforms, according to a new survey reported by tech news site NetworkWorld on Monday.

The study, part of the Cisco 2010 Midyear Security Report, states: "Social networking, virtualisation, cloud computing and a heavy reliance on mobile devices continue to have a dramatic impact on the ability of information technology departments to maintain effective network security."

Cisco found that social networking platforms such as Facebook and MySpace act as an active hub for cyber criminals. The study says that Facebook games including Farmville and Mafia Wars are being targeted by cyber criminals as a means to spread malware.

The company said that the use of social networking platforms and other media channels at work leads to a loss of productivity, and an increase the likelihood of devices being infected by malware.

Cisco has urged IT companies to maintain effective and up-to-date security software to protect their companies' systems and their consumers from being infected.