Employee use of social networking is now widely accepted by IT professionals although security is expected to be increased.

A survey of over 1,000 companies by FaceTime Communications found that social media is in use on company networks, but 51 per cent plan to increase security within the next 12 months.

Of those surveyed, 32 per cent said social networking is a critical business c
ollaboration tool, with 87 per cent personally using social networks on the corporate network.

FaceTime also found that 51 per cent of the companies estimated that employees use social networks at work for more than an hour per day, and 80 per cent said that information leakage is a primary concern with social networking use.

Nick Sears, VP EMEA at FaceTime, said: “With 31 per cent of respondents now seeing a significant business value in social networking, versus only 21 per cent who don't, it's clear that organisations that don't embrace it will be left behind.”

The survey also found that more than half of respondents would like to see specific support for Web 2.0 integrated into their web security platform, and nearly 20 per cent would deploy dedicated solutions to control Web 2.0.

Sears said: “The reality that real-time communications and Web 2.0 applications are highly evasive and able to bypass traditional security methods is starting to sink in and securing their use is now a major consideration for businesses.”