Employees in the UK are increasingly turning to browser-based social networking and file-sharing applications for both personal and professional activities.
A report from network security firm Palo Alto Networks found that worldwide employees are taking a more active role in their consumption of social networking platforms. The study, which analysed around 1,636 customer facilities, gathered information on both web-based and locally installed applications.
Rather than consuming content generated by others, the study found that users are becoming more active in their social networking experience, making use of games and posting more of their own content.
The study found that Facebook use was particularly high in the UK. While the social networking platform accounted for 39 per cent of bandwidth activity worldwide, it accounted for 60 per cent of bandwidth consumption in the UK. This was balanced by a lower percentage of Twitter use in the UK than global averages.
Matt Keil, senior research analyst for Palo Alto Networks and author of the report, told V3 that the shift in usage patterns was not strictly from personal activities.
"Users are moving from a voyeuristic usage model to one that is more active," Keil explained.
"We believe it is both corporate and personal use – corporations are finally figuring out ways to use social media."
Patterns towards file sharing are also starting to shift. Researchers noted that users are selecting a certain class of file-download service to share business files and other downloading sites for personal use.
While the services have so far shown to be safer than less-controlled peer-to-peer platforms, Keil noted that malware writers are usually quick to adapt to user trends.
"The more serious security risk is the chance for malware propagation," he explained.
"Historically, all the file sharing has been followed closely by malware propagation in terms of getting the malware out there."
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