With the help of Pinterest, Twitter, and others, a new Facebook platform wants to keep the web secure
Facebook has announced a new platform through which security professionals will be able to share information about potential threats with their counterparts at other companies.
The service is supposed to make it easier for companies to communicate about security issues by repurposing many of the technologies Facebook has built for its social network.
That includes features meant to suss out the relationships between people -- which will now be used to find relationships between threat -- and controls meant to offer a bit of privacy -- which will be used to limit some companies' data-sharing to others facing the same threat.
The service is called ThreatExchange, and companies like Yahoo, Twitter, and Pinterest have all agreed to share threat information with each other via the boringly-named tool.
But these companies aren't the only ones worried that information about digital threats isn't shared as well as it could be. A new agency, the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center, has been formed to facilitate similar sharing amongst various intelligence agencies.
ThreatExchange and CTIIT were both formed out of the belief that digital threats are a puzzle whose pieces are held by various groups. The only way to solve that puzzle, then, is to convince everyone to share their pieces. Otherwise the puzzle will always be incomplete.
Yet, as some have pointed out, there's little stopping security professionals from discussing threats as it is. ThreatExchange simply corrals all that information into a service Facebook controls and allows the company to take some credit for working to help secure the Web.
Maybe this service will turn out to be more than a publicity stunt and will actually help people communicate with each other fast enough to prevent threats from becoming dire.
But even if it doesn't, the same rule applies in Silicon Valley as it does in Washington: it doesn't matter if you actually fix anything, all you have to do is say you will fix something, enjoy all the buzz around your efforts, and then bask in the praise even if nothing pans out.