Facebook Connect problem created a domino effect on Thursday as companies that use the service saw visitors redirected from their sites.
Facebook's 2012 Highs And Lows
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
A problem with Facebook Connect created a domino effect of sorts on Thursday as companies that use the service saw visitors being redirected from their sites. The problem affected a number of sites, including CNN, Mashable, the Huffington Post, Salon and MSNBC.com.
Facebook Connect enables third-party websites to implement features of the social network on their own sites. An issue with the Facebook Connect API caused visitors to sites that use the API -- who were also logged in to Facebook at the time -- to be hijacked and redirected to an error page.
The event lasted only a short time, and Facebook brushed aside the issue with the following statement: "For a short period of time, there was a bug that redirected people logging in with Facebook from third party sites. The issue was quickly resolved and Login with Facebook is now working as usual."
But however brief, the glitch raises questions about businesses' increasing use of -- and reliance on -- Facebook.
"The bug clearly demonstrates the pervasiveness of Facebook Connect throughout the Web," said Jake Wengroff, founder of social business consultancy JXB1 and a contributor to The BrainYard. "While this issue doesn't demonstrate a serious security breach, it shows how widespread the use of Facebook credentials is when accessing website content."
Facebook took a lot of heat about the issue on, well, Facebook and other social networks, but Alan Lepofsky, VP and principal analyst at Constellation Research, provided a reminder that outages and problems like the one that Facebook Connect caused on Thursday are part and parcel of leveraging any cloud service and that companies need to weigh the benefits with the risk.
"Yesterday's error illustrates the impact that a reliance on Facebook -- or any cloud service, for that matter -- can have on other companies," said Lepofsky. "When something goes wrong with their servers or their API, it impacts possibly thousands of organizations, without the ability for those companies to fix the problem themselves. On the plus side, due to their size and expertise, a large cloud vendor like Facebook should be able to fix a problem faster than a company's own IT department may be capable of. In my opinion, the benefits of working with cloud-based integrations outweigh the occasional issue that may occur."
What do you think -- do the advantages of using cloud-based services outnumber the potential risks? Let us know in the comments section below.
Attend Interop Las Vegas May 6-10, and attend the most thorough training on Apple deployment at the NEW Mac & iOS IT Conference. Join us in Las Vegas for access to 125+ workshops and conference classes, 350+ exhibiting companies, and the latest technology. Use Priority Code DIPR02 by Feb. 9 to save up to $500 off the price of Conference Passes. Register for Interop today!
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
2017 State of IT ReportIn today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.