Social networking sites cost UK plc �6.5bn in lost productivity

Websites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo are costing UK corporations almost £6.5bn annually in lost productivity, according to a poll by Global Secure Systems (GSS) and Infosecurity Europe 2008

The poll was conducted among 776 office workers, who admit to spending at least 30 minutes a day visiting social networking sites while at work: that's a minimum of ten hours a month, which equates to three weeks of every year. The end result is billions of pounds in lost productivity, GGS claims, plus the extra demand on bandwidth which is an additional cost to a business in terms of efficiency, maintenance and resources.

Furthermore, a recent meeting held by Infosecurity Europe 2008 with chief information security officers (CISOs) revealed that one of their biggest IT concerns for 2008 was how to manage social networking sites at work, with many estimating that 15-20 per cent of current bandwidth is being taken up with social networking sites access, and for many the best move forward is to ban these sites altogether.

"It would appear that most CISO and IT Directors loathe social networking sites and if they had their way would ban them completely," says Claire Sellick, Infosecurity Europe event director. "But what is also coming across is that the human resources (HR) departments actually welcome the use of these sites ̵1; so there is a lot of internal pushing and shoving going on between HR and IT over how best to manage these sites."

"[There are] serious security implications associated with social networking, where hackers, exploiters and extortionists are worming their way into these sites extracting all sorts of information on the members," adds David Hobson managing director of GSS.,

Image: Many CISOs estimate that 15-20 per cent of current bandwidth is being taken up with social networking sites access

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