Five Ways Google Is Shaking the Security World

By Sarah D Scalet

Ask Google anything - what's happening to GE's stock price, how to get to 881 Seventh Ave. in New York, where Mission Impossible 3 is showing, whatever happened to Brian Smith after he moved away in the ninth grade - and you'll get an answer. That's the power of this $US6 billion search engine sensation, which is so good at what it does that the company name became a verb.

That kind of power keeps Google on the front page of the news - and sometimes under unfavourable scrutiny, as demonstrated by Google's recent clashes with the US Department of Justice and also with critics displeased by the search giant's stance on Chinese government censorship.

CSOs and CISOs have a different reason to think carefully about Google and the implications of having so much information online, instantly accessible by almost anyone. Although these issues relate to all search engine companies, Google gets most of the attention­ - not only because of its huge share of the Web search market but because of its unabashed ambitions to catalogue everything from images and libraries to Earth, the moon and Mars.

"We always get enamoured of a new technology, and it takes us a while to understand the price of that technology," says Robert Garigue, vice president of information integrity and chief security executive of Bell Canada Enterprises in Montreal, Canada. For security pros, the price is that Google can be used to dig up network vulnerabilities and locations of sensitive facilities, to enable fraud and cause other sorts of mayhem against the enterprise. Here, CSO examines the ways Google is shaking the security world, and what companies can do about them.

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