Though its members often profess a belief in transparency and openness, the tech world is typically a pretty secretive place, with everything from business strategies to algorithms guarded like rocket launch codes.
If there is one thing that can bring companies together for the greater good, however, it is the abysmal state of corporate security—and that’s exactly what Facebook is counting on with ThreatExchange, its new social network aimed at guarding against cyberattacks.
In essence, ThreatExchange is a platform that allows security professionals to easily share information about cyberthreats, risks, and attacks, with a view to making their own—and hopefully everyone’s—systems safer.
“Tools for sharing security information between organizations don’t work if they are inefficient or too complex,” says the ThreatExchange website. “That’s why many teams end up trying to solve the same problems that others have already tackled.”
Like Facebook itself, ThreatExchange is free, and will draw on the company’s expertise as a social network to create a tool that’s straightforward to use and easy to search. As GigaOM points out, the new site will also use Facebook’s “graph-database technology” to figure out new relationships among the data points submitted, such as whether malware is talking to one particular domain, or if a domain is hosted on a bad IP address.
Already, partners signed up to take advantage of the tool include Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, Yahoo, Bitly, and Dropbox.
“We are committed to protecting people’s privacy, and we built controls into the platform to help people share with only their intended group every time,” ThreatExchange’s website says. This means that people using the service can tweak privacy settings so that, for instance, specific information is shared only with other companies known to be experiencing the same type of attack.
Facebook’s announcement about the new network follows the White House’s creation this week of a new government agency to combat cyberattacks. While some in the tech world will likely remain hesitant to share security information with competitors, recent high-profile hacks such as the attack on Sony Pictures should spur increased industry collaboration.
[via Financial Times]