Facebook, Webroot Expand Security Partnership

Facebook users can protect themselves against phishing as well as viruses, malware and identity theft by downloading Webroot SecureAnywhere.

Cloud-based security intelligence solutions specialist Webroot announced that it is extending its partnership with Facebook to provide the social network's expansive base of international users with protection against online security threats both on and off Facebook.

The two companies first announced the partnership back in August 2012. Facebook users can protect themselves against phishing as well as viruses, malware and identity theft by downloading Webroot SecureAnywhere, cloud-based protection for their computers for no charge through the Facebook AV Marketplace. The expansion will also be language-based and will auto-detect the user's preferred Facebook language.

"Facebook has always been committed to ensuring all of our more than one billion users have access to the tools that can help keep them and their devices safe," Joe Sullivan, chief security officer for Facebook, said in a statement. "Today marks an important step towards better servicing our international users with the addition of new language support for Webroot and the rest of our AV Marketplace."

Webroot’s SecureAnywhere platform warns users of malicious sites and search results before they click on them and encrypts passwords and syncs across multiple devices so users can safely login to banking and shopping sites. In addition, a firewall uses the cloud to detect and block harmful network connections, and anti-phishing technology warns users of fake Websites that trick the user into entering personal information.

"Today's social media mavens rely on speed and efficiency to get the latest news and updates, and Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus includes layers of security such as a firewall, identity protection, antiphishing, and a Web Threat Shield to instantly block harmful Websites," Mark Hanson, vice president of strategic alliances at Webroot, said in a statement. "In an 'always-on' world, it's imperative to offer online security wherever and whenever possible. Social networking is the new water cooler, and Webroot is pleased to provide its unparalleled antivirus solution to protect Facebook users around the globe, regardless of whether they are on Facebook or off."

Global users also have access to an in-Facebook implementation of Webroot's URL Classification Service, which notifies Facebook users if a link on their newsfeed leads to a malicious Website. The protection against malicious Websites categorizes millions of Websites and scores them based on an analysis of the Website's content, reputation, age and threat rating. When users click on a link that is detected as malicious, an alert providing additional information about why it was classified as malicious will pop up.

As reported in Webroot's recent Web security study, phishing represents one of the fastest-growing causes of breaches and data loss. Phishing is the most prevalent Web-borne attack, affecting 55 percent of businesses Webroot surveyed. Phishing is particularly challenging because cybercriminals launch new sites that masquerade as legitimate sites so quickly and for such a short period of time that most existing Web security fails to detect them, the report noted.

Results also indicated companies that deploy a Web security solution are far less likely to be victims of password hacking, SQL injection attacks, social engineering attacks and Website compromises.