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Is fear of phishing hacks and company blunders limiting your company’s social web presence? Who could blame you with the recent string of them: AP Press Twitter Account hack, and American Apparel and Gap blunders.

Image“The reality today is you need technology to automate enforcement of social media guidelines and policies,” said Nexgate co-founder and CEO Devin Redmond. “Put guardrails on the roadside and let people go as long as the safeguards are in place.”

Founded in California in April 2012, Nexgate is the guardrail of social media. Redmond was working with fellow Nexgate co-founder Ray Kruck at Websense when they saw the social media security gap grow larger and more complex as the Internet evolved.

“We had always thought of founding a company,” Redmond said. “Motivated by that concept, we ran after it.” The third co-founder of Nexgate, Rich Sutton, had worked with the two and was equally inspired by the idea.

The three founders knew that social media was and is a logical progression of Internet communication that should be embraced by companies. But its external, consumer-based infrastructure did not have the safety measures to keep it from going off track.

“Businesses need a new type of security and protection to deal with that external channel,” Redmond explained. “In other words, trying to control or turn off social media using network or device-based security is both counterproductive—companies should use social media—and not viable since social media lives outside of that legacy security paradigm.”

ImageThe three big social media risks Nexgate manages for companies, Redmond said, are: “First, visibility into what their actual infrastructure is (i.e., how many accounts they have across each network) and what risks they have on those accounts (e.g., fraudulent accounts, spam, offensive content, regulatory violations, etc.). Second is protection of their accounts from hacks and ‘bad’ content. Third is governance of the accounts to make sure regulated and sensitive content is handled properly while enforcing that the right apps and workflows are also used to publish content for the company.”

Nexgate template policies and reports are unique, and their entire system for detection and application of policy is patent-pending. “They aren’t the rudimentary keyword dictionaries that are inherently weak while also being a nightmare to configure and administer. All the customer has to do is click to enable any policy and click to run a report against that policy.”

Redmond thinks being the only social media security vendor included in the newly released Gartner Report, Cool Vendors in Risk Management and Compliance, is great for Nexgate. “What I think is more important is that the topic of social media risk and compliance is coming into the spotlight and more research is highlighting how important it is.

“It’s not about blocking social media. It’s about adding protection that creates and extends trust for a company and anyone affiliated with it via social media.”

See a Nexgate Video.

Social Startups is a weekly Social Media Today column written by Shay Moser about the newest and most innovative social companies. Look for the next installment next Wednesday morning. Logos by Jesse Wells