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Websense Research: Google’s YouTube and Blogspot Community-Driven Security Tools Up to 75 Percent Ineffective

Self-Policing, Community-Driven Tools Catch Fewer Security Threats and Objectionable Content – Presenting Legal Liability and Compliance Risks – Emphasising Need for Comprehensive Secure Web Gateway Technology
  • 28 May, 2009 09:32

<p>SYDNEY – May 28, 2009 – New research from Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBSN) shows that community-driven security tools used on Google sites like YouTube and Blogspot are 65 percent to 75 percent ineffective in protecting Web users from objectionable content and security risks – which presents legal liability and compliance risks and points to the need for secure Web gateways that feature unique abilities to manage and protect users from specific content on Web 2.0 sites.</p>
<p>Web 2.0 sites that allow user-generated content are hotbeds for emerging security threats and inappropriate content that violate many corporate policies. In March, Websense Security Labs™ researched the effectiveness of community-driven, self-policing security tools used on sites like YouTube and Blogspot. These tools let community members flag or rank content that might be inappropriate. Websense security experts estimate that these tools successfully identify between only 25 percent and 35 percent of objectionable content – leaving a gap in Web security protection for both individual users and businesses that allow their employees to visit and use these sites.</p>
<p>Despite the inherent risks, Web 2.0 technologies, with their ability to let users create and share content and collaborate with other employees, customers and partners, are powerful tools and most organisations are already allowing at least some access to these sites. Additionally, IT managers are feeling pressure from various business owners to open up access to these sites. In fact, in the recent Websense Web 2.0 @ Work global survey of IT managers , Websense found that 94 percent of respondents currently allow access to some form of Web 2.0 and an overwhelming 86 percent responded that they feel pressure to allow more access.</p>
<p>“Although we all applaud the efforts of Google’s YouTube and Blogspot Web 2.0 communities to protect themselves through user-policing technologies, a significant amount of objectionable content is falling through the holes,” said Charles Renert, senior director, advanced content research, Websense, Inc. “This false sense of security on social networking Web properties points to the growing need for organisations to adopt real-time Web security gateway technology in order to protect from malicious threats and inappropriate content, reduce risk and maintain compliance.”</p>
<p>Websense has embedded - at the core of its new secure Web gateway appliance - the advanced analytics and real-time content inspection and classification technologies from the Websense ThreatSeeker™ Network. These embedded technologies offer protection from previously-uncategorised or unknown Web content "on the fly," including malware and Web 2.0 threats. The Websense secure Web gateway is the only solution that categorises specific content on Web pages such as Google’s YouTube, Blogspot and "mash ups -- not just the Web pages themselves -- allowing IT managers to grant access to Web 2.0 sites while their organisations are protected from sections of sites that are inappropriate or a security risk.</p>
<p>Websense analyses content posted to Web 2.0, social networking and blogger networks as it's posted - using the recently-acquired Defensio technology - that gives Websense customers protection from risks before they propagate. Defensio, the industry's first and only Web 2.0 early threat outbreak detection and protection system, enhances the Websense ThreatSeeker Network which continuously monitors the Internet for changes and emerging threats and feeds intelligence to Websense security solutions.</p>
<p>Additional information about the study</p>
<p>To confirm research results, Websense used an automated Web crawler to roam over YouTube looking for known adult keywords and samples of known Blogspot domains were also polled to observe their status. The study included a URL lookup in the Websense Master Database and analysis by advanced Websense content inspection technologies. In total, Websense reviewed more than 60,000 YouTube pages and more than 250,000 blogs on Blogspot.</p>
<p>About Websense, Inc.</p>
<p>Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBSN), a global leader in integrated Web, data and email security solutions, provides Essential Information Protection™ for more than 44 million employees at organisations worldwide. Distributed through its global network of channel partners, Websense software and hosted security solutions help organisations block malicious code, prevent the loss of confidential information and enforce Internet use and security policies. For more information, visit www.websense.com</p>
<p>Websense is a registered trademark of Websense, Inc. in the United States and certain international markets. Websense has numerous other registered and unregistered trademarks in the United States and internationally. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.</p>

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