MySpace Is YourSpace

By now you're aware that Time magazine has named You as the Person of the Year for 2006. Congratulations.

OK, probably a fair number of "You"—CSO readers specifically—aren't using those tools and sites. It's not that You aren't cool. You're certainly cool in my book. But our audience demographic is currently a bit older than the average person creating Machinima films. (Google that if You have to.)

But your organization's employees, now they're a different story. Even at this moment, the younger end of your workforce is probably on MySpace or Facebook or Lord-knows-what-dot-com. Wandering around looking for trouble in Second Life. Texting their thumbs down to tiny nubs.

The reason these things are top of mind for me is that the publishing industry is undergoing radical transformation at the hands of the rapidly morphing Web. You'll see our website evolve gradually over the coming year to take better advantage of the ever-changing Web. Already several top-notch CISOs (Michigan's Dan Lohrmann and Ken Pfeil of WestLB AG) are blogging on our site to share their experiences and discuss ideas with the security community. If you find Senior Editor Scott Berinato's story on metal theft as fascinating as I do, you'll also want to check out the accompanying Web slide show he put together using photos supplied by DTE Energy's CSO Michael Lynch. We'll be doing more of those, as well as creating new databases and news feeds and generally finding ways to make valuable information available in creative new online formats.

And what about You? What's your company doing with blogs, wikis and the like? Most security coverage of these technologies seems to center on either the threat of employees accidentally divulging sensitive information on blogs or on blog spam, or the likelihood of security holes in Ajax code.

These risks definitely warrant consideration. However, this is no time for security to get pigeonholed (again) as obstructionist. If technology is creating new communication channels and employees are embracing them, then CSOs are better off making peace with these channels and in fact pushing for secure adoption. Is there a way to use a wiki or blogs to accelerate knowledge sharing in your R&D department? A way to use Yelp or some Google Earth mash-up service to help your business travelers?

The rise of social media isn't something to resist. It's another opportunity for security to enable an activity that provides business benefits. Take ­advantage of it.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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