You can’t open a paper or turn on a TV without hearing about Australian Julian Assange and his guerrilla style news organization WikiLeaks. Public opinion has become sharply divided over whether the organization provides a valuable service to society or threatens national security.
What has become increasingly clear is that Wiki-leaks does represent a Tipping Point moment for internet security, one that was likely inevitable. Facebook, and to a lesser degree Twitter have faced a barrage of criticism over security concerns. More predictably, the US Air Force has told its troops to not use FourSquare.
Threats against personal security are serious. Add the weight of a entire corporation’s or country’s data to the mix and the result is an increasingly paranoid environment where executives and politicians begin to shy away from modern technology tools. WikiLeaks, for instance, already has bankers worried about using the cloud. In more plain terms, CIO Insight Magazine says that “Businesses will face increasing liability issues from employees and contractors carrying and moving data from the inner sanctum of corporate data centers to interconnected servers via a mobile, wireless structure”.
Into these shark infested waters, Waterloo’s Open Text has released social networking tools that offer what the company calls “enterprise-strength security controls.”
Open Text is a spinoff that grew out of a collaboration between the University of Waterloo and Oxford University Press to computerize the Oxford English Dictionary. The search technology developed for that project, which incorporated full-text indexing and string-search technology, was recognized as being useful for other electronic applications. By 1995, Open Text was providing the search technology used by Yahoo! as part of its Web index. Today, with nearly a billion dollars in annual revenue, the company is recognized as a world leader in enterprise content management (ECM) software solutions.
If Open Text is beta testing their enterprise security tools, they aren’t messing around. For the first time ever, the company recently announced, “social media tools had been used at a G-20 to help participants work together during the forum. ”
According to Open Text “G-20 organizers avoided use of consumer-grade social media tools, which lack enterprise-strength security controls. At the same time, social media offers better ways for people to connect, share and collaborate, than email, so a solution that combined the benefits while reducing the risks was needed.”