The majority of individuals use social media regularly to post images and updates, interact with friends, and keep informed about current events and trends. Similarly, many businesses use social media to boost income and brand awareness by recruiting customers and potential workers.
For large enterprises, social media has become a medium for communicating with their customers. The media has undoubtedly made giant corporations more approachable to the general public. However, with this comfortable accessibility comes the threat to cyber security.
Is the Risk of Social Media Worth It?
Malicious hackers use social media to launch cyber-attacks and phishing schemes to harm your reputation or obtain personal information. According to a new study, one out of every five businesses is attacked with malware spread through social networking platforms.
This is mainly due to the nature of social media, which makes users more receptive to being solicited by strangers. Furthermore, the ease with which users can connect and share information makes it ideal for spam and viruses to propagate.
On the contrary, for many firms, the confluence of these platforms has drastically changed the fundamentals of customer engagement, marketing, and corporate communications. The platforms provided by social media have become a new method for directly and efficiently communicating with markets and customers.
6 Cyber Security Risks for Businesses Due to Social Media
While these innovations provide huge potential for businesses to communicate with their consumers and others, they also introduce new problems. Here are some common risks associated with social media engagement:
1. IP and Sensitive Data Are at Risk
Board members and executives concerned about cyber security risks associated with using social media in the workplace should learn how their companies are dealing with the risk of improper release, loss, or thievery of sensitive information.
Also, they must evaluate the risk of viruses and malware infecting company networks and systems due to human error, phishing scams, sophisticated attackers, and identity thieves.
2. Violation of Compliances
Infringement of trademarks and copyrights, data security issues, employment issues, violations of privacy rights, and mismanagement of electronic communications are all dangers associated with using social media to communicate data and information that violates applicable laws and regulations.
These regions may also pose a danger because of the organization’s retention policies or e-discovery needs.
3. Credibility is at Risk
Companies require excellent response strategies in the event of a crisis because consumer opinions travel swiftly through social media.
Inappropriate employee behaviour, unrealistic product or customer service expectations, rogue tweets of inappropriate messages intended for internal or personal use, or an inability to measure up to the openness, straight conversation, and clarity and transparency expected by customers and prospects seeking to engage can all result in self-inflicted harm to the reputation.
Customers or other third parties can utilize social media to criticize the company. If the firm does not interact or give the necessary time and attention, it will be unable to handle the potential consequences and make essential product and process adjustments.
When secret information about someone’s activities within the organization is released or information relating to these activities is shared, there is a risk that outsiders will use that information to harm employees’ safety.
5. Competitor Risks
Choosing to rely solely on traditional marketing techniques and other types of customer contact and collaboration may result in market share loss to competitors who use the insights generated by social media.
Smaller businesses and certain high-tech firms have discovered that social media is critical to their growth. They are utilizing the technology to reach customers and markets despite having limited staff.
If larger, more established companies disregard the implications of social media in specialized market niches that can be exploited by new entrants and more nimble competitors, this could pose a disruptive threat. Social technologies use the internet’s disintermediation power to lessen entry barriers and disrupt traditional business structures.
6. Brand Stealing
On the web, there is always the chance of a mysterious third party hijacking the company’s name and gaining access to customers and prospects, including personal information, without the company’s knowledge.
Unauthorized use of company names and trademarks, as well as product counterfeiting and other misrepresentations, are examples of such fraud.
Some businesses have hired third parties to track all references to their brand names on social media and internet sites. They do so to use the data to better coordinate various elements of their operations for addressing customer feedback.
The preceding listing of possible threats is not supposed to be exhaustive; there are undoubtedly further dangers. The argument is that each company must analyse the threat of social media and identify suitable monitoring and mitigation techniques. However, the bigger threat would be not implementing social media techniques at all.
How to stay safe
- Make sure you have a rigorous cybersecurity strategy in place that takes the necessary steps to protect your data and employees from cyber threats. Your IT partner can provide further advice on the right cybersecurity solution for your company.
- Enrol employees in cyber security awareness training to educate them about the potential risks they may be exposed to through social media apps and how to protect them in their personal and work life.
- Only use certified and trusted third-party apps that are official partners of your social media platform.
- Engage the required employees (such as marketing departments) in company-specific social media training. Explain what they can and cannot post from your business account online and make sure you understand what they are expected to do.
- Make sure that all employee phones are password protected. We also recommend that you implement managed device encryption on all work phones and other devices. This means that if the device falls into the hands of a malicious user, the data will be encrypted and useless to unauthorized users.