The rise of social media platforms has put a lot of personal data in the public domain. The blending of employees’ personal and professional lives means that companies need to consider how to keep their corporate assets secure.
Stephen Urquhart, general manager ANZ, Ixia, said, “The value of social media to business is clear. It can amplify customer engagement, build brand identity, and raise awareness of products and ideas. This increased exposure means added risks.
“Social media platforms put a lot of personal and professional information into the public sphere, making social profiling easier than ever. This, in addition to the ease of communication provided by social media platforms, increases the opportunity for cybercriminals to dupe employees into clicking on dodgy links or inadvertently downloading malware.”
Organisations need to offer training and have appropriate network security infrastructure in place to avoid the risk of information breach or data theft arising from social media activity.
Phishing remains one of the top vulnerability sources of for businesses. Social media can make it easy for a cybercriminal to pose as a colleague or a friend, send a phishing message via a social media platform or email, and fool someone into unknowingly providing an entry point to an organisation’s system.
Organisations can protect themselves against the potential of such an attack with these five steps:
- Make sure employees engage in social media only when using a secure connection or network.
- Educate employees about phishing scams, including how to recognise them and how to avoid them.
- Implement a policy that restricts what information can be shared publicly and which sites can be visited.
- Test the network regularly to reduce the likelihood of potential vulnerabilities.
- Subscribe to a threat intelligence service for a proactive way to minimise potential threats.
Stephen Urquhart said, “Social media has become unavoidable for most businesses, so organisations and individuals need to protect their social media presence just as they would protect their laptop or their network.”