Businesses that want to block access to social networking sites such as Facebook are not upgrading to the latest version of Internet Explorer (IE), according to Microsoft's Australian chief security adviser.
"[Companies are] happy to stay with IE6 because ... a lot of the social networking sites and the sites that they deem are unnecessary for work purposes, they're not going to render and function properly within [older versions of] IE," Microsoft's Australian chief security adviser Stuart Strathdee said.
Instead of using web filtering products or acceptable usage policies to prevent employees accessing such sites, they rely on weaknesses in the old browser, he said.
"So it's a sideline security tactic, I suppose, rather than sitting down with their users and saying 'Here's what we define as a business use of our technology, and here's the sites you can go to and here's the sites we don't want you spending too much time on'. By not upgrading they don't have that problem," he said. "For a lot of our customers that's just a comfortable consequence of staying on IE6."
Strathdee, however, urged companies to make the move to IE8 because of better built-in security. He said it was a "no-brainer" for consumers and that Microsoft had many ways for enterprises to easily make the switch.