Check Point Debuts ZoneAlarm SocialGuard


Check Point Software Technologies (NASDAQ:CHKP) is well known in the technology world as a firewall vendor. When it comes to social networking threats, network security isn't the only solution, which is why Check Point is now debuting its ZoneAlarm SocialGuard technology.

John Gable, head of Consumer Products at Check Point told that the CEO of Check Point, Gil Shwed, became interested in the social networking space because of his kids, noting that Facebook represents a different class of risk than networking security.

ZoneAlarm SocialGuard is a software solution that enables people to identify social networking risks on Facebook. While Check Point is positioning SocialGuard as a solution for parents to protect their children, it's also a good solution for adults to protect against social networking security risks.

"For the enterprise side, it doesn't take much imagination to see how this can be valuable to IT," Gable said. "We're talking to enterprises about some technologies we have and some possibilities as well."

ZoneAlarm SocialGuard can be used to help parents secure their children's Facebook activity. SocialGuard has its own algorithm which examines a Facebook user's circle of friends. When a new request comes in, SocialGuard can determine if the request is from an outsider that is unknown to the user's group.

The SocialGuard program ties into the Facebook API, but is intended to be transparent. That said, Gable noted that you need to first allow the SocialGuard program to work within Facebook. He added that if there is any attempt to hack a person's password or account, an alert will be sent from SocialGuard. The program will also alert you if there is a malicious link present in a Facebook message or page.

SocialGuard runs on a Windows PC as a background service and can also provide email alerts when a security risk is present. There currently is no cloud or online delivery model for SocialGuard. The alerting system is also limited in that it relies on email as opposed to directly blocking a link.

"For dangerous links, most kids have some kind of anti-phishing, anti-virus software," Gable said. "The philosophy behind this application was to be a conversation between parents and kids and to teach them how to deal with the world of dangerous content."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.