German firms blocking Facebook over security fears: report

Oct 24, 2010
Many of Germany's top companies are blocking access to Facebook and other social networking sites over fears of industrial espionage and other security concerns, according to a report released Sunday.

Many of Germany's top companies are blocking access to Facebook and other social networking sites over fears of industrial espionage and other security concerns, according to a report released Sunday.

Business weekly Wirtschaftswoche said in an advance copy of its Monday issue that many companies on the Dax-30 blue-chip index saw an unacceptable risk posed by employees using such sites at work.

"Many external social media sites are no longer available to most of our staff due to security concerns," said a representative for the second-biggest German bank, Commerzbank.

Construction materials group HeidelbergCement drew similar conclusions before outlawing Facebook and micro-blogging site , and automaker Volkswagen said it had also banned "various social networks".

Beyond the risk of staff revealing trade secrets in online chats, companies fear that such sites could expose them to computer viruses transmitted by clicking on a link within someone's 'wall', according to the report.

"Before it was email that was the favourite gateway for damaging software -- today it is social networks," Christian Fuchs of anti-virus provider Kaspersky was quoted as saying.

Luxury car maker Porsche recently restricted Facebook use over industrial espionage fears, according to the report, while energy group E.ON and industrial gas giant Linde have also curbed access to Facebook and video sharing site at some of their offices.

Worries over lost productivity prompted other corporations such as Daimler to pull the plug on for some of its staff.

A study by IT security firm Clearswift indicated that 30 percent of German companies fear will distract their employees from work if they have unlimited access.

However, a much larger group -- 56 percent -- cited as the primary reason to restrict such sites, Wirtschaftswoche said.

Explore further: Showing 'The Interview' is part of Google's long-term YouTube plan

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

No Facebook at work in most US companies

Oct 08, 2009

More than half of US companies do not allow employees to visit social networks such as Facebook, MySpace or Twitter while at work, according to a new survey.

Recommended for you

N. Korea suffers another Internet shutdown

20 hours ago

North Korea suffered an Internet shutdown for at least two hours on Saturday, Chinese state-media and cyber experts said, after Pyongyang blamed Washington for an online blackout earlier this week.

Streaming release of 'Interview' test for industry

Dec 25, 2014

Sony's "The Interview" has been a hacking target, a punchline and a political lightning rod. Now, with its release online at the same time it debuts in theaters, it has a new role: a test for a new kind of ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.