The Facebook Effect on Security

Sue Marquette Poremba
Slide Show

If Facebook can remember these five facts about user privacy, its headaches may begin to fade.

There were times I thought Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was at RSA. At least, he and the spector of Facebook loomed large. Many in the security industry see the Facebook model as the way to shape new approaches to security implementation.


It's certainly not because Facebook is immune to security flaws. The site has seen its share of spam, malicious links, hijacked sites and third-party problems. Instead, it is because the Facebook model, along with other social media, has become the standard of the way we communicate with each other today, especially younger people. Marc Benioff, chair of, told attendees of Monday's Cloud Security Alliance Summit that in the last year, social media users have eclipsed e-mail users. As he explained:


College students and young people are driving the change in communication. How they do things on the Internet and how they access the Internet are changing. Because of that, we're seeing the next generation of applications emerging.


Benioff also pointed out that with changing technologies, enterprise is moving into a more complex environment and that security and innovation have to be tightly linked.


Benioff's company developed an enterprise interface that draws a lot of inspiration from Facebook. Employee pages include status updates. You friend coworkers. You have levels of administrative access, however, and employees don't have universal access to anything their "friends" put on the site.


The security challenges are definitely there. With this easier, open method of sharing information, security personnel need to be more vigilant. Discussions of stronger employee background checks and stricter use of the private network were among the suggestions at the session.

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