Social media is a tempting target
It's no news that Facebook is riddled with privacy pitfalls that have outraged users for some time. But it's less publicized that as the mammoth social networking site becomes a platform for business marketing, Facebook is becoming a tempting target for hackers hoping to breach the firewall, as is LinkedIn, the popular networking site for professionals. "During this six-minute demo, more than 450,000 posts of malicious content, spam, spyware, phishing, and fraud will be posted onto Facebook," said Websense CTO Dan Hubbard as he pitched his product on the Demo stage.
Websense's Defensio 2.0 product is specifically designed to improve Facebook security. The company says it wrote the application from scratch with help from the Facebook development team. It scans Facebook content, including wall posts, videos, photos, comments, and URLs, but not the operating system.
The application can reject inappropriate Web links and filter out comments, detect harmful scripts and malicious code, and allow users to automatically manage comments with predefined filters, the company says. It can also deliver an alert when unwanted content is detected.
A stupid war that needs to end
I don't want to belabor the war metaphor, but the hostility engendered by the rise of new technologies can be destructive. Sure, there will always be tension between users and IT, and that can be a good thing when it represents different groups trying to do their jobs as well as possible.
But sneaking behind the back of IT is not healthy, and many users are blissfully -- and dangerously -- unaware of the security and privacy rules mandated by laws like Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA. Breaking those rules can result in serious consequences for employers.
Neither is it healthy for IT to get in the way of a company's primary mission: selling goods or services. We've all run up against control-freak IT types who seem to forget that users need to get their jobs done as well.
Wars often have the unintended consequence of spinning off socially useful products and technologies. If Divide, Defensio, and similar products work as advertised, I hope we'll see a lessening of hostilities in the war between IT and users. In any case, there's a great opportunity for vendors to play peacemaker and be well rewarded for the effort.
This article, "Consumer tech is coming to the workplace, so stop fighting it!," was originally published by InfoWorld.com. Read more of Bill Snyder's Tech's Bottom Line blog and follow the latest technology business developments at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.