HP Cloud Plan Leaked on LinkedIn

Everyone (or almost everyone) loves social media but there are plenty of pitfalls to be aware of, especially in areas where it overlaps with the professional world: employers vet potential employees through their social media profiles, while big companies worry about security breaches enabled through casual social network activity. Hewlett Packard is learning about the latter this week, following what appears to be an inadvertent leak of its closely-guarded plans for a cloud computing service via LinkedIn.

According to the Channel Register in the U.K., HP interim vice-president for engineering Scott McClellan spilled the beans about the forthcoming service in his LinkedIn profile, detailing work to develop "object storage," "networking," and "block storage" for "an innovative and highly differentiated approach to cloud computing." The LinkedIn post includes information about the user interface, including "APIs and language binds for Java, Ruby, and other open source languages. Fully functional GUI and CLI (both Linux/Unix and Windows)."

The leak is causing a bit of a stir in engineering circles because most people expected HP to opt for a platform based on Microsoft Azure; now it turns out HP is charting its own path in cloud computing. If true, this could mean HP is looking to compete (rather than cooperate) with Microsoft in the cloud computing universe. The inclusion of object storage, to be "built from scratch," also suggests that HP hopes to compete with Amazon, currently the leader in consumer-facing cloud computing services.

Although there is such a thing as a strategic (intentional) leak, the fact that the information has been removed from McClellan's LinkedIn profile suggests otherwise.

Plenty of employers have expressed concern about the security implications of social media use. According to the Cisco 2010 Midyear Security Report, 50% of the employees surveyed said they ignored corporate policies which ban social media in the workplace, and over one quarter of the employees surveyed said they had changed the security settings on their work computers so they can carry on their social media activities unhindered.

This anxiety extends to social media usage outside the workplace. Last March an online security firm, Teneros, debuted a new service called Social Sentry, which allows companies to track every social media interaction by their employees, at the workplace or elsewhere -- including their home usage. Teneros specifically states that Social Sentry can "monitor employee public communication happening from any location, within the corporate network or public Internet."

Social Sentry features include the ability to discover employee social network presence on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social networks; monitoring employee social network activity from any kind of device, including mobile; automated notification of social network activity transgressing company rules; and a variety of analytic and reporting functions for managing and interpreting all this data.

2 comments about "HP Cloud Plan Leaked on LinkedIn".
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  1. Dan Romine, May 6, 2011 at 4:12 p.m.

    The SocialSentry technology has been purchased by SocialLogix. This is a perfect exampole of the type of social data loss/leak that SocialSentry proetects against.

  2. Dan Romine, May 6, 2011 at 5:53 p.m.

    The SocialSentry technology has been purchased by SocialLogix. This is a perfect example of the type of social data loss/leak that SocialSentry protects against.

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