Games console in the workplace pose an increasingly serious threat to enterprise security, according to new research from Sunbelt Software. The anti-malware vendor said that almost 4 in 10 respondents to the survey had no idea about any of the documented threats relating to online console gaming
A survey of 200 senior IT decision-makers in public and private sector organizations around the globe found that eight in 10 respondents had no record of who uses games consoles in the workplace. "This makes it almost impossible to track down the source of any data leaks or brand damaging in-game behavior that might take place via services such as Xbox Live and PlayStation," said the company.
Sunbelt found that roughly half of the people it surveyed recently had a game console in the workplace. Forty-four percent had a net-connected console. It warned of potential threats including distributed denial of service attacks designed to target individual console players, knocking them out of the game. These could have a derogatory effect on a corporate network, which could have their IP address exposed by players participating in online games.
Sunbelt also pointed out that fully functional browsers existed within game consoles such as the PlayStation, while Sunbelt researcher Chris Boyd also warned of messages containing phishing links being sent from attackers to other players via online gaming networks.
"In most cases, the most practical option for an organization is to disconnect consoles from the Internet and use them for offline play only," said Boyd.
According to Sunbelt's figures, the Nintendo Wii was the most popular console among organizations using gaming to lift morale in the workplace. Forty-eight percent of respondents have deployed one. The Xbox 360 was used by four in 10 organizations surveyed, while just 12% have deployed a PlayStation 3.