UK firms among slowest for Web 2.0 uptake

Web 2.0

The UK is in the bottom four for Web 2.0 application uptake in business, alongside Canada, Australia and the US, according to new research.

Countries with the highest adoption levels included Brazil, Spain and India, where 90 per cent of firms or above have taken on applications such as social media, micro-blogging and collaborative platforms, a McAfee report has shown.

Generally speaking, however, uptake is high across the globe, said the report, authored by members of the Centre for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) at Purdue University.

Despite this, security remains a major concern for companies, as half of the 1,000 decision makers surveyed ranked the issue as the main cause of concern for Web 2.0.

"As Web 2.0 technologies gain popularity, organisations are faced with a choice they can allow them to propagate unchecked, they can block them, or they can embrace them and the benefits they provide while managing them in a secure way," said George Kurtz, chief technology officer for McAfee.

A third of those polled said anxieties around security had prevented their businesses from increasing their Web 2.0 efforts.

Some businesses had even gone to the extreme of blocking Web 2.0 access completely, with 13 per cent taking this step rather than putting policies in place.

Strikingly, a third of organisations said they had no social network policy in place whatsoever.

"Web 2.0 and social networking technologies can be used effectively for business," said Eugene H Spafford, founder and executive director of CERIAS.

"But to reap the benefits of Web 2.0, organisations must be proactive about understanding and managing the challenges. That involves putting the right policies in place and deploying the technology that can enforce those policies."

There are many ways in which companies can monitor workers' social network and application use.

Q1 Labs announced a new security information and event management system this week that offered such monitoring, but in real-time.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.