Two companies have released software that mines information about individuals on the Web. Core Security Technologies dropped its Exomind application, while Paterva released its Maltego program. Can Managed IT Services Providers Respond?
Both applications have one thing in common. They can be used to collect information on individuals from snippets of data dropped all across the web. Of course social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace make that job easy already, but these programs can piece together broken links to create virtual profiles that mimic your real world persona. They can identify who you know, where you shop and what you do for a living.
While Exomind was built to assess the negative impact of social networks on privacy, Maltego claims to have a much loftier purpose, the building up of corporate digital footprints to display relationships and reveal trends, which can be used to take corporate competitiveness to another level.
Individuals and companies alike need to be aware of the dangers of this type of software. The existence of Exomind and Maltego promises to revolutionize the way information is assessed on the web, which means that the user must rethink what they put out there.
Whereas before an individual might keep a Facebook profile for personal use and a LinkedIn or Ecademy profile for business purposes and feel fairly confident that the two were being kept separate, the emergence of this technology smashes this sense of security.
On a corporate level it means that sensitive data is exponentially easier to leak to the competition because they may have access to technology that can interpret spikes in communication between different parties or even pick up on blether on forums and in chat rooms.
How Can Managed IT Services Providers Help?
Managed IT Services Providers can step in to fill the gap in the need for more security. When superior protection is needed it is best to trust the industry giants to do the job. The most popular MSPs in the security business are Symantec and Verizon.
Symantec has a range of service packages tailored to meet the needs of small, mid-sized and large enterprises. They offer a wide range of services from data protection to spam prevention and endpoint security.
Verizon is comparatively new to the internet security business, having acquired Cybertrust in 2007, but they are prior recipients of the Global Product Excellence Award for Internet Security, so they have a huge stamp of approval.
As technology continues to advance, security threats will only get more and more ubiquitous, so it is wise to leave the protection of data to the professionals. MSPs are a smart and affordable solution to what promises to be a persistent and costly problem.