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Social media apps pose biggest threat to enterprises

(Image credit: Image Credit: Wright Studio / Shutterstock)

Businesses are putting themselves at risk from failing to keep track of the growing number of apps across their networks, new research has found.

A report from Gigamon has found that social media apps were bringing the highest level of concern among security professionals surrounding potential network risks. Television streaming apps, as well as gaming and messaging services, were also found to be causing the biggest potential concerns.

A worrying number of businesses also admitted they aren't sure about the number of apps on their network, and the services being used to manage their security. Overall, 26 percent of organisations said they had no idea how many applications are being added to their network each day, while 11 percent did not know if tools are deployed to manage their security.

17 percent of organisations are adding as many ten new applications into enterprise networks every day, increasing the risk of vulnerabilities if they are not managed properly - a troubling finding as 14 percent of firms said they do not have policies in place to manage their security, which could be putting sensitive corporate data at risk.

“Today’s organisations are heavily dependent on applications, and employees will often use them to perform key parts of their job," said Ollie Sheridan, security engineer for EMEA at Gigamon.

"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."