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Facebook launches social network for security pros

Facebook's new ThreatExchange will allow corporate security professionals to share cybersecurity information and better protect themselves from hackers.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, which on Wednesday announced its new ThreatExchange website, designed for security experts and companies to collaborate and share information about online threats they're seeing. James Martin/CNET

Facebook has launched another social network to help people connect -- but this time it's on a specific topic: cybersecurity.

Called ThreatExchange, the website is designed for security experts and companies to collaborate and share information about online threats they're seeing, such as malicious software and computer vulnerabilities, so they can better protect their customers.

In the wake of massive cyberattacks against the some of the world's biggest companies, Facebook decided to make it easier for security professionals across industries to alert each other about new threats as they become known. To do that, the world's largest social network created a dedicated service that could give companies the same privacy controls individuals already have on Facebook. With ThreatExchange, security pros can decide what they want to share and with whom, without worrying about disclosing sensitive information.

Early partners in a beta version of the site include Bitly, Dropbox, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter and Yahoo.

ThreatExchange is the latest attempt to help stave off a plague of cyberattacks hitting corporations and governments worldwide. Following the devastating hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment last fall, US President Barack Obama allocated $14 billion in the 2016 budget to beef up cybersecurity efforts. On Tuesday, the administration announced the creation of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center, which will coordinate cybersecurity efforts across government agencies.

The hope is that, by sharing information, governments and corporations have the up-to-date knowledge of emerging threats and attacks from which they need to protect themselves, their employees and their customers.