Facebook was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard student. It started as an online version of Harvard student information. The social media site was created for students to interact with each other, and share photos and experiences with other Harvard students. Facebook changed its procedure and broadened its access to new users. In 2005, it expanded to other colleges and high school students. In 2006, Facebook was open to anyone with a valid email address, thirteen years of age or older. Over the years, Facebook has merged or acquired Hot Studio, Drop.io, FriendFeed, Instagram, Divvyshot, Karma, and Lightbox.com. Facebook has grown into a billion dollar corporation and has become one of the most popular forms of social media globally.
Over the years Facebook has had some significant events. One of the most notable took place in 2012 when it began publically trading after becoming one of the largest IPOs in United States history. The business profile shows that the Facebook headquarters is located in Menlo Park, California. The company employs over 17,000 employees. Facebook’s stock ticker is FB. The stock information has shown the continual growth of the enterprise. “Since shares of our Class A common stock were sold in our IPO in May 2012 at a price of $38.00 per share, our stock price has ranged from $17.55 to $110.65 through December 31, 2015” (Facebook Annual Report, 2015). During 2015, the common stock had a low of $72.00 and a high of $110.65. The revenue for Facebook in Quarter 3 of 2016 was substantially larger than 2015. The reported value was $7,011 (in millions) in contrast to 2015 $4,501 in millions.
The IT department and security is an important part of Facebook. Mike Schroepfer is the Chief, technology officer. He is responsible for the creativity, exploration, and speed of product as well as the Facebook infrastructure that supports the billions of users. Mike was previously the V.P. of Engineering at Mozilla Corporation. He also served as the Chief Technology Officer for Sun Microsystem. Mike has extensive educational experience and holds a master degree from Stanford in computer science.
Facebook offers social media outlets and an excellent method for companies to advertise. Facebook customizes their advertisement to appeal to their user’s needs. For example, if a user is looking for paint, they will see marketing for Lowes and their paint products. As of the third quarter in 2016, Facebook has 1.79 billion users. The cost of advertising through Facebook can range from $0.16 to $1.00 per click depending on the industry. Facebook’s users are the product, and advertisers know it is an excellent means to reach unlimited users based on their needs. “You think you are the Facebook user, but in fact, you are the Facebook product. The company sells you: your data and the advertising that you see” (Bratasanu, 2015).
Some companies are trying to mimic or surpass the success that Facebook has experienced. According to Hoover, the three top competitors that Facebook currently has is Microsoft Corporation, Google Inc., and Twitter Inc. Facebook has a growing need for cyber security products and services with the growing threat of cyber attacks. There is a lot of information that needs to be protected such as sensitive information that people display on their profile; private information shared between users, and credit card information used to transfer money. With the passing of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), businesses share attempted attacks with the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies. The need for cybersecurity products and services will protect the integrity of the company and its users.
Facebook conducts its business through a virtual platform. The intellectual properties include coding and its scripts used in their operation. Facebook protects its user’s intellectual property rights. It addresses hacked accounts, imposter accounts, and abuse and harassment. It ensures that the user has the privacy and protection from other users. Facebook has strong security procedures in place both internally and through the social media site. Practicing operations security (OPSEC) which prevents users from disclosing private information that can be used in a negative manner. They advise users to keep their locations and personal details limited to avoid unwanted attention from other users. There is also the verification process for the users to make sure that fake accounts are not being used and hacked. If any conduct takes place on Facebook that is against their policies or procedures the user can contact Facebook and they will address the user. The actual business employs an in-house security team that oversees the activities of the office. All employees have a background check to ensure they will fit into the Facebook Corporation. They also use employee badges for entrance and have a system that shows where each employee workstation is location.
Finally, it is important to consider the buying forecast for Facebook. There are cyber security products that the company may consider to purchase with the new and emerging technologies on the market. Hardware authentication places authentication into the individual user’s equipment. The solution is the Core vPro processor, which enhances the validation process of each user. Another cyber security product is the cloud. The cloud has gone through many different improvements, and it offers the user an infrastructure that will protect the company and user data in its platform. Finally, Facebook may be interested in technology that provides user behavior analytics. The user behavior analytics program can red flag situations that fall outside of the user’s typical behavior.
Facebook started as a small social media site that allowed Harvard students to connect and has transformed into a global network. The company’s financial position has continued to improve annually and is projected to do so well into the future. The stock prices have fluctuated, but they have had favorable returns. It is important for Facebook to consider their internal and external securities and to find a way to protect itself and its users. The organization needs to find emerging technologies to ensure they are doing their part to prevent cyber attacks.
- Bratasanu, D. (2015). You Are Not the Facebook User; You Are the Product. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dragos-bratasanu/you-are-not-the-facebook-user-you-are-the-product_b_7978104.html
- Facebook Annual Report. (2015). United States Security and Exchange Commission. Retrieved from https://s21.q4cdn.com/399680738/files/doc_financials/annual_reports/2015-Annual-Report.pdf
- Facebook, Inc. Company Information. (2017). D&B Hoover. Retrieved from http://www.hoovers.com/company-information/cs/company-profile.facebook_inc.f1fe73cc6a208e18.html