Web 2.0 security: things to know about the social web

As more and more companies adopt Web 2.0 functionality, and the use of social networking as a business tool increases, there are definitely risks to be aware of. Websense CTO Dan Hubbard discusses how companies can protect their information from threats and compromise on the social Web.

The Anti-Phishing Working Group recently published some interesting statistics showing that the numbers of rogue antivirus programs rose 225 percent from July 2008 to December 2008, more than tripling the number of detected rogue programs from its July level.

Rogue antivirus attacks play on the fears of Web users and are a ploy for money, when in fact the computer user has not been infected, nor do they need to install an antivirus program.

4) Sadly, You Really Can't Trust Your Friends or Your Social Network As a tweet from the Websense Security Labs recently stated, "Web threats delivered via your personal Web 2.0 social network is the new black - do not automatically trust suspicious messages from friends." The social networking explosion has created new ways of delivering threats. Web users are so accustomed to receiving tweets with shortened URLs, video links posted to their Facebook pages and email messages purportedly from the social networking sites themselves that most people don't even hesitate to click on a link because they trust the sender.

The unfortunate reality is that criminals are taking advantage of that trust to disseminate malware and links to infected Web sites. Websense Security Labs recently found examples of e-mails sent from what appeared to be Facebook, but were really from criminals that encouraged users to click on a link to a "video" that was actually a page infected with malware.

Dan Hubbard is chief technology officer for Websense. He leads the global Websense Security Labs team that researches and analyzes emerging Internet security threats and trends. Hubbard graduated with a BSc in information and decision systems from Capilano College in Vancouver, Canada.

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