Web 2.0 Security: Getting Collaborative Peace of Mind

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Web 2.0 applications have opened up a lot of communication channels—and opportunity—for business professionals. They can, more than ever before, reach out to individuals from across the globe and share content and web applications. Through blogs, wikis, and social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, people are becoming more and more electronically intertwined. "There’s a sense of security in a Web 2.0 world where people trust their personal information to others," says Jordan Frank, VP of sales and marketing for Traction Software. "They trust these sites." 

Frank points out that some people trust such systems just because their friends do, and because sites such as Facebook haven’t let people down—yet. He cautions that a breach could cause a backlash against such networks. "Ensuring success in Web 2.0 means that trust doesn’t get broken," says Frank.  

Most companies don’t want to inhibit the collaborative flow that Web 2.0 has brought with it; they don’t want it to hinder their overall operations and they want to continue to build on their Web 2.0 platforms. A Gartner Executives Programs survey of 1,500 CIOs from across the globe revealed that half of the respondents expected to invest in Web 2.0 technologies for the first time in 2008.

Internet experts agree that part of that investment must include security measures to protect organizations’ intellectual property. One reason that Web 2.0 garners more attention for security safeguards than its predecessors is that its open nature makes it naturally more vulnerable to breaches. "The fact that security is becoming an issue speaks to the growth that Web 2.0 applications are having in the business world," says Isaac Garcia, CEO and co-founder of Central Desktop, which offers a web-based business collaboration platform. 

Companies need to recognize the fact that the benefits that new technologies afford are typically accompanied by challenges. Web 2.0 is no different in this regard than any other technology offering. "The key thing is that when you’re rolling out new technologies, these new technologies bring new vulnerabilities, as well as renew old vulnerabilities," according to John Pescatore, VP of internet research at Gartner, Inc. "It’s an important time to build security features."

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