As the world becomes more connected to social media, the business world uses it to connect with the consumer. This can include all information stored and shared online, making social media safety more important than ever. Social media networks also create a unique doorway to people’s and business’ information. And that can be a very bad thing when hackers and scammers get involved. Giving up social media for businesses is not a reasonable option. However, neither is it acceptable to carry on as if social networks are always reliable and secure. You need to take steps to protect your company against some of the most common social media security threats.
To start, cyber criminals can piece together information based on your posts. These can be used to create specialized phishing email campaigns containing a malicious link that is related to your business or your marketing team. For example, posting about a specific website you enjoy can let cyber criminals prepare tailored phishing attacks that warns of false information about the specific website that is dedicated to gain access into your company. In your worry that your favourite website has been compromised, you click the link without thinking, and launch the attack. You can decrease this dangerous likelihood to your business by educating all your staff on applying privacy settings on social media when disclosing personal information and deciding what to share wisely.
Secondly, LinkedIn is the king of business networking around the world. Most employees are connected to the platform and your company page. Social engineering is an up and coming tactic for cyber criminals. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn allow attackers to find individual information of employees that can be used to focus on specific companies. Using information from employee profiles, a credible false profile can be designed to establish trust with targeted employees. When the trust is there, the cyber criminal might start requesting for specific information, such as business server names, project information, or even have the connected employee open a malware file or visit a planned malicious website that will create backdoor access onto their computer.
In addition to this depending on the size of your company and brand; fake celebrity accounts or endorsement can lead to a horror show for businesses. Many attacks include high profile celebrities or successful business people being impersonated by cyber criminals registering a new account under a similar name of a popular person with photos and description to match. A phony account can be used to spread misinformation and give false endorsements or to attract new followers that can later be spammed. The severity of this danger remains in the fact that cyber criminals can use fake social profiles to obtain customer information and abuse it. There is no real authentication process that links a virtual profile other than follower count in this case for Twitter. Fake accounts can focus on your customers, misleading them into giving over personal information and tarnishing your brands reputation in the process. Like social engineering, phony accounts may also try to trick your employees into handing over vital information such as network access for corporate systems. Therefore, verification of proof of identity is important to protect against these social media threats.
From this, the best defense to social media attacks is prevention. Creating a social media policy for your organization, training your staff and a quarterly social media audit to review privacy settings is a good way to start. If your organization is using social media or getting prepared to, you need a solid social media policy. These guidelines define how your organization and its staff should use social media responsibly and securely. This will not only safeguard you from security threats, but potential bad public relations with your customer base and any legal problems in the future.
In closing, even with a social media policy you need more to protect your organization just in case your staff doesn’t follow it. Your organization’s policy should be straightforward to comprehend, training will give personnel the chance to participate, ask questions, and get a sense of why it is essential to follow the policy. Training sessions are also a great opportunity to evaluate the newest threats on social media and discuss whether there are any parts of the policy that need revising. Social media training also prepares your team to use the tools efficiently and safely. When employees understand what the best procedures are, they’ll feel self-assured using social media for both business and their own purposes. Finally, a quarterly social media audit to reviews accounts, privacy settings on social channels, and to double check who has access to your organization’s social media. Being aware of the strategies that cyber criminals are using and the countermeasures to defend your organization allows all companies a great chance not to be a target and not having their brand tarnished.