Dennis Fisher of Kaspersky Labs (a security software vendor) wrote an article this month predicting that miscreants will continue focusing their efforts on exploiting Adobe products in 2010.
He refers to Adobe’s Acrobat Reader and Flash, both of which are installed on the overwhelming majority of computers around the world, regardless of operating system. That is important to us in the webinar community because of the trend towards more web conferencing products relying on Flash as their underlying technology platform.
Flash offers many advantages for vendors and users alike. Some of my favorite web collaboration tools are Flash-based. But we shouldn’t brush aside the concerns about security. Even if end users don’t get exposed to security hacks by using the conferencing tools, the perception of vulnerability may cause more enterprise IT departments to restrict or ban the use of Flash on employee computers as a general safeguard.
I have written about this in the past and I’ll keep following developments throughout the year. What I would really like to see from the Flash-based conferencing vendors is a fallback access method for users who are prohibited from installing the Flash player on their computers. This would let attendees get basic content, even if they might not be able to get the full functionality of the Flash version. That’s better than the current response by most vendors, which is “Sorry. You’re out of luck. More than 98% of the world’s computers run Flash… What’s the matter with you?”