The next step for embracing rather than blocking social networking is to make the controls invisible to employees.

Nick Peart, global brand manager at Clearswift, told SC Magazine that often employees are aware of online threats, but companies need a duty of care to keep employees safe and for responsible use within the company.

He said: “Invisible security should be out of sight for employees, as administrators are looking for specific things that need further investigation. They are doing it to get a degree of understanding and to make accidental mistakes a thing of the past.”

Senior security consultant Ben Rothke said that an attitude towards security comes down to awareness, as people do not understand security risks and are either very trusting or fearful. “It will not stop people making stupid decisions. How do you manage and secure social media? Blocking it does not work as outside the company you cannot control it,” he said.

Clearswift chief executive Richard Turner has previously stressed the need to take a more proactive approach to employee access of social networking and non-work related websites, with blocking not encouraged.

Rothke said: “Email was seen in the early days as a network blockage and there are security threats with phishing and spam, but how did we control it? Any tool can be mis-used and business should find a way to embrace social media but secure it.

“Try blocking the phone or email now, you cannot because they are too powerful. Attacks are only going to increase so you need to have a plan.”