Security systems 'must embrace social networking'

Social networking is building an entirely new type of world that will require a major change in the way business organisations tackle information security,...

Social networking is building an entirely new type of world that will require a major change in the way business organisations tackle information security, an independent security advisor has warned.

David Lacey, who is also a member of the BCS Security Forum Strategic Panel, said traditional security techniques will not be applicable in future.

"Organisations will have to use the same media as their people are using, so if everyone is using social networking, they will have to engage at that level. They will have no choice. Otherwise they will be left behind with the wrong, inefficient mechanisms and techniques," he said.

Lacey will advise delegates at the Infosec Europe 2008 event in London next week to engage with the evolution of networks and develop entirely new approaches to security and governance to safeguard intellectual assets in those networks.

"The value [in information] is in moving it around and getting it to people, so organisations have got to focus on security around flows of information, and not put walls around valuable intellectual assets, which requires an entirely different way of doing security," he said.

Lacey said it was important to raise awareness and stimulate debate around the impact of social networking on governance, intellectual property ownership and business.

"The potential for espionage and fraud is dramatic where you have social networks, because it is easy to expose information accidentally, unconsciously or deliberately," he said.

According to Lacey, most organisations will have a lot of work to do to minimise the possibility of losing intellectual assets through networks. They will have to look to new technologies that are smart enough to monitor outgoing flows of information.

"Security should be about keeping information and business moving - that is the first paradigm shift we have to make. The reaction to a social network should not be to lock it down. It should be to enable it and provide protection around the flows of information," he said.




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