IT security vendors worth following on Twitter

Security labs flocking to Twitter to get out their alerts on Conficker and more

Enterprise IT companies are setting up Twitter accounts in droves, and security companies are among the most enthusiastic given that Twitter is ideal for quick updates on vulnerabilities such as Conficker/Downadup..

View our humongous list of enterprise IT and network companies on Twitter 

But not all Twitter feeds are created equal. Many are simply spitting out press releases or patting themselves on the back. We've pored through the enterprise security company Twitter feeds to highlight those worth watching, maybe even regardless of whether you use products from the companies.

What we did find is that most of the Twitter feeds don't have very distinctive voices, except for those that are basically Twitter headlines taken from the writer's blog. But there's still time for real style to develop. One thing we did notice is that plenty of the security companies are following each other, so of course you get a lot of the same info from any of these feeds.

The most dedicated security Tweeters seem to come from the labs, though others such as Cisco, Juniper and VeriSign are also quite active.

For example, McAfee has one Twitter feed that automatically Tweets its press releases and blog postings. But the much better feed to follow is the one from McAfee Avert Labs. This is a seemingly nonstop stream of security tidbits and commentary from "Woot: 50 months for a phisher" to "Amused at the Security buzzword generator" and "Nice and simple way to detect W32/Conficker infections: http://tinyurl.com/c2elfy"

McAfee's fellow antivirus vendors are no slouches. Kaspersky Lab is big on issuing breach notifications, retweeting liberally from its new ThreatPost blog (which has a separate Twitter account of its own). Symantec has really started to branch out beyond Symantec-only info, with links to everything from 60 Minutes to David Letterman.

Sophos gets its word out in part by "senior technology chap" Graham Cluley, who often highlights his blog posts but is also fairly interactive on Twitter. F-Secure's biggest Twitter voice is Mikko Hypponen, the company's chief research officer. He was a one-man news wire on threats such as Conficker and Ghostnet, with Tweets such as "Earlier today I bet a case of beer that the Belarus Conficker arrests were a joke. Just got confirmation it was. Hello to a case of Becks." Fellow F-Secure expert Patrik Runald (recently interviewed by me here) just started on Twitter but is going at it full bore.

Others with lab presences on Twitter include Websense Labs and Trend Micro. New Tweeters just keep coming too. Among the newest: PandaLabs' Luis Corrons (he joins a boatload of others from Panda on Twitter, including CEO Juan Santana).

One of the quirkier security vendor presences on Twitter is that of FaceTime Communications. The company, whose products help customers secure and manage unified communications environments, provides links to interesting security news (beyond Conficker) and news about IM, Skype and other popular apps. But what really sticks out are its videos conducted by "Larissa and Sarah" with guests such as a President Obama cutout.

Among other vendors that have more than one-way Twitter feeds is Fortinet, a maker of unified threat management appliances. It often highlights posts to its frequently updated blog (one recent headline: "Booby-trapped javascripts threaten malware analysts"), but also strikes a conversational tone in communicating with customers and partners. TippingPoint Tweets posts from its DVLabs blog but also gets creative, such as by doing a play-by-play account of a security contest from the CanSecWest conference.

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