Last year, we posted a checklist of key accomplishments in our first year as a standalone organization. Our 2010 checklist included a lot of numbers—like the millions of users and webmasters who learned about badware via our educational pages or read our Tips for Cleaning & Securing Your Website—and while those numbers are still important to us, 2011 has been much more about engaging collaboratively with the security ecosystem to define new ways of thinking about the badware problem—and its solutions.
StopBadware's 2011 Checklist
- By the numbers: Nearly 5 million people searching for information on preventing, identifying, and getting rid of badware found that information on our website. Those millions of people came from 211 countries and territories and spoke 204 different languages. Over 900 webmasters on our community forum, BadwareBusters.org, asked for and received help getting rid of bad code that had compromised their websites. Our blog flourished, and our social media following grew by an average of 55%. And if that weren't enough, we also processed over 16,000 independent review requests from webmasters whose sites ended up on our data providers' blacklists.
- We gained eight new partner companies this year, and all of them are fantastic, responsible, forward-thinking organizations dedicated to making the Web more open and secure: thanks for the great year, Verizon, Qualys, SoftLayer, Sophos, and Tucows! The other three we can't yet tell you about yet (though you're welcome to guess!), but look for announcements very soon. We also completely revamped our Partner Program so as to better engage and recognize our Partners. Have a look.
- We published our inaugural State of Badware report, which analyzed badware trends, identified systemic weaknesses in the security ecosystem, and discussed key ways industry and policymakers could evolve to make the Internet more resilient to badware. It also leapt tall buildings in a single bound.
- With advice from our cross-industry working groups, we developed and released two sets of industry best practices. Yep, count 'em. Two: Best Practices for Web Hosting Providers: Responding to Badware Reports, and Best Practices for Reporting Badware URLs. These best practices were a big first step for us in creating a collaborative, realistic industry standard that helps both reporters and report recipients streamline the badware reporting process, from detection to cleanup.
- We commissioned a legal white paper on web hosting provider liability for malicious content from Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society; this helps allay hosting provider concerns about taking good faith steps to address badware on their networks.
- We launched the We Stop Badware™ Web Host program to recognize web hosting providers who are committed to security and to drive adoption of our web hosting best practices among the responsible hosts of the world. The program now has 28 participating providers from 13 countries across five continents. It's a big step, both for us and for the hosting industry.
- We started a pilot reporting project, in which we reported URLs from our community feed in accordance with our Best Practices for Reporting Badware URLs. A research publication on the statistical results of this project will be forthcoming in 2012, but even preliminary results indicated that our initial foray into reporting was yielding a positive outcome.
- We made appearances! Our executive director graced multiple panels and conferences with his badware-busting wisdom, a few of us rocked out and raised badware-awareness (badwareness?!) at HostingCon in San Diego, and we hosted our first-ever dinner in the Bay Area to get an in-depth discussion going on the badware threat and what industry players can do to combat it.
- We got an award! Thanks to the ever-obliging Online Trust Alliance for bestowing us with the Online Trust Leadership Award for excellence in collaboration. We're digitally blushing.
We also physically moved this year: we left our beloved shared office in Harvard Square and hustled on over to the Cambridge Innovation Center, where espresso flows freely and start-ups of all stages huddle in iPad-controlled conference rooms. Staff Technologist Isaac regularly abuses snack privileges and our raconteur Caitlin still can't figure out how to use the office phones, but we have an office of our very own and two white boards on which we've already reinvented the Follow Friday Twitter hashtag. It's from here that we'll continue to build StopBadware and expand our badware karate chopping capabilities; with our amazing StopBadware Partners, hard working staff and intern, and lofty Board of Directors, the future is looking bright! 2011 has clearly been a big year for us (yeah yeah, we know—we said that last year, too). We're feeling like 2012 will be even better.
We're entering the New Year with our strongest group of StopBadware Partners yet. There's still much to be done; if you're interested in joining the discussion and the action in our partner community, let us know. We also welcome individual donations to help us continue and expand our existing programs.