THE BLOG
07/22/2009 09:35 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The New Power Girls: Is Web 2.0 Putting Your Business at Risk Online?

The scene is casual and chic as a group of female founders based in Los Angeles gather over mimosas at brunch. On the table is an array of iPhones and Blackberries, underneath a collection of designer shoes that would take the breath away from even the most seasoned fashionista. As they nibble on fresh fruit and scrambled eggs mixed with salmon, the conversation shifts from men and dating to upcoming events, and of course, the latest news and trends affecting business. The big topic, of course, was the story that rocked the web and media worlds just a week before: The popular web 2.0 blog TechCrunch was sent 300 confidential company documents stolen from the popular social network, Twitter. Shortly after, the hacker revealed how he snuck into the private email of the company's executives, sparking an even greater look at online security and privacy. In a world that encourages you to increasingly use web-based services like email and to share, share, share online, are businesses making themselves vulnerable to hackers and cyber criminals?

The hacker that slipped into the email accounts of Twitter executives had said his efforts began with research online. There he was able to find who works for the company and a variety of personal details via their sharing on social networks, etc. to create a database of information that he later used to guess email configurations and passwords. Like a lot of web 2.0 companies, Twitter's company email was allegedly hosted online. It made it easy for the hacker to get in and move around. At one point, he hung out in an employees email undetected, watching and waiting to make sure he wasn't found out before moving to other accounts inside. It was enough to send chills around virtually every entrepreneur's spine. While many debated about whether or not media and blogs should publish sensitive, confidential and/or stolen goods, Power Girls were looking to the bigger problem: As our world moves to the web, are we more vulnerable to hackers?

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