Introduction to Social Media SecurityUsing social media, organizations, and their followers can collaborate by sharing information, providing feedback, and creating content. Ultimately, this encourages an open dialogue between both parties to further strengthen the relationship. While social media offers a plethora of benefits, it also has its fair share of drawbacks. Unfortunately, because of the online landscape’s complexity and ever-changing nature, users can be left exposed to cyber threats such as insecure pathways or tunneling beneath cybersecurity measures. Due to the nature of your business, you and your employees may unintentionally share confidential information on social media. Unfortunately, such data can be accessed by malicious individuals looking for an opportunity to exploit it. To protect yourself from potential cyber threats, here are five cybersecurity risks associated with using social media platforms in a business setting.
Ransomware and Virus AttacksRansomware is a malicious program created to block access to files on your computer. It does this by encrypting the data and asking for monetary compensation in exchange for a decryption key that will give you back control of the documents. In addition, some viruses include extra features such as stealing information which amplifies their blackmail potential — making it more tempting for victims to pay up rather than attempt another method of recovery.
Hacked AccountsUnknowingly, many people post personal information that can give hackers clues to their passwords or security questions – such as mentioning their hometown, pet’s name, elementary school attended, or even extended family. Consequently, this makes it easier for scammers to gain access to one’s account by either using brute-force attacks or social engineering tactics in order to deceive the user into sharing their password. When an account is hacked, it can be used to scam your closest contacts and other businesses. It’s possible that the hacker could even demand a ransom for the return of your data – an event that will undoubtedly cause irreparable damage to your reputation and business.
Phishing & Brand ImpersonationTo deceive victims and extract sensitive information, such as login credentials or credit card details, phishers set up fraudulent websites that mimic the trusted company’s page. The goal is to make individuals believe they are accessing a legitimate website associated with their bank. Thus, when customers type in personal data into these fake sites, it acts as an open pathway for cybercriminals to steal their private information. Brand impersonation can be incredibly dangerous for your customers, as they could unknowingly purchase counterfeit items or fall victim to ransomware. Worse still, when someone interacts with an illegitimate website posing as your brand – that can cause major confusion and distress among clients. To protect yourself and those who rely on you, it’s important to take the necessary steps to secure your business from malicious activity.
Stolen PasswordsOne of the simplest but most costly security issues is stolen social media account passwords. If someone uses a stolen password to log in and change the company accounts, this creates a major hassle for your company while you try to manage a PR crisis and revert your accounts back to their original state. A hacker with malicious intent can do a lot of damage (i.e. sending customers links to ransomware) while you are trying to prove ownership of the account and reset the password. Hackers target sites with vulnerable security practices (such as storing plain text passwords) and steal the account data of thousands or even millions of users at once. This can include login credentials, credit card details, and Social Security numbers (SSNs). This can also become a problem if an employee’s personal password gets stolen when they have access to company social media accounts. Suddenly, getting into someone’s personal social media could give a hacker access to change your company’s social media.
Uncontrolled User AccessAvoid sharing credentials between social media managers, agencies, and consultants to protect the security of your accounts. A password system allows you to provide access without divulging the actual credentials – preserving their integrity and keeping changes in control within the governance team.
Tips and Tools to Mitigate RisksProtecting your business’s social media accounts requires comprehensive, motivated training for all employees with access. Establish clear rules on what they can and cannot do while using the accounts to ensure maximum security. For example: ● Refrain from clicking on ads. ● Keep your passwords private and never share them with anyone. ● Avoid any suspicious content. ● Refrain from accepting friend requests from accounts or people you are not familiar with, as this could grant access to scammers and fraudsters through false websites. ● Avoid utilizing social media on public Wi-Fi networks, as these network connections cannot guarantee your online security. ● It’s essential to routinely alter passwords and utilize a password locker for global team access
Business Risks of Social MediaAs large-scale data breaches and leaks have grown in prominence, organizations must be increasingly mindful of their online presence and user engagement regarding data security and privacy to remain compliant with the influx of regulations. Furthermore, businesses face an array of risks when it comes to social media such as:
Loss of Intellectual Property and Sensitive DataUnauthorized release of proprietary data, premature disclosure of key organization info, and intellectual property theft can be financially ruinous or even force a company to close. These disasters are quite often due not to complex cyber-intrusions but instead arise because of human error resulting from phishing scams, social engineering tactics, and Identity spoofing.
Reputation DamageCompanies must be mindful of their online reputation as consumer opinions on social media can quickly spread and negative reviews have the tendency to go viral. Reputational damage may also happen due to employees’ inappropriate conduct on the internet, insensitive statements made over public platforms, or false promises regarding services/products offered. The impact of unfavorable public opinion on social media channels can be disastrous for any business that fails to monitor their online presence and respond accordingly. One moment of negative publicity, no matter how insignificant it may seem, can wipe away years of brand-building in an instant.
Legal LiabilityIf you are not stringent about your organization’s social media policies, then you could be endangering your business. You may find yourself in breach of regulatory regulations or privacy laws if the wrong info is shared on these accounts – ranging from copyright infringement to issues like HIPAA and CCPA violation, data retention rights breach, etc., depending upon what type of company it is, and the services provided.
Safeguarding Your Business Against ThreatsTo maintain a clear distinction between business and personal usage, all social media applications should be limited to company-owned devices. Additionally, it is imperative that an acceptable use policy for both employees and company-owned gadgets is established. Make sure the permission levels are set accordingly on multi-user tools used to manage social media postings. For more extensive, customized protection for your business, develop a cybersecurity plan that includes social media policies with the help of your IT department or consultant. Consider Papaya Technologies cybersecurity. Make securing your social media accounts a priority in your security plan, and protect your online presence as you would any other digital asset.
Best Practices for Protecting Yourself Against Threats
Enable MFA.Utilizing multi-factor authentication for your applications, accounts, or VPNs is a powerful measure that adds extra layers of security to protect you and your organization from advanced cyberattacks. Even if credentials are exposed or sold by third parties, two or more authentication factors must be provided to gain access – this reduces the risk of malicious actors accessing sensitive data.
Do not reuse passwords.Securing your accounts can be made easier by using a separate password for each account. Utilizing a sophisticated Password Manager tool helps keep track of these passwords and ensures that they are complex, preventing malicious actors from easily guessing them. That way, even if one credential is compromised, the others will remain safe and secure
Reduce unknown threats.Exercise caution as you connect with others on social media networks. Beware of those who seem untrustworthy or suspicious, and thoroughly investigate each individual and entity that wants to be linked with yours.
Understand the Characteristics of a Phishing Attack.Remain vigilant and stay informed of the newest phishing schemes circulating so that you can remain skeptical when someone contacts you unsolicited through email or social media.
Look out for fake accounts.Watch out for malicious brand impersonation attempts, report any violations to the social media platform managers promptly and apprise your followers of these incidents.
Protect Yourself with PapayaAt Papaya, we pledge to make keeping your business secure and your employees informed easier than ever before. Let Papaya keep you safe.
Mitigate Risk and Implement Solutions to Avoid Future IssuesWith our tailored risk assessment services, we can help businesses uncover any potential security breaches and vulnerabilities. We deliver custom solutions that comply with industry standards to guarantee the stability of your systems and processes. Our team is equipped to provide a secure environment for all companies in need of reliable risk management.
Team TrainingPapaya’s comprehensive employee training courses guarantee that all members of your organization recognize the risks and hazards linked to social media, allowing them to safeguard your business from potential threats.
All-Around SecurityAt Papaya, we are dedicated to equipping our employees with the knowledge necessary to understand cyber-attack risks and how best to react. Our risk assessments reveal any important control measures that can help prevent social media security threats from occurring in the first place. Through comprehensive training programs, we guarantee that everyone is aware of what could happen if such a danger arises – and how to protect against it.
Seamless ExperiencePapaya software guarantees maximum uptime with minimal interference to performance. We prioritize security without hindering flow, allowing you the benefit of a steady operation without any fear of errors or blunders due to unsatisfactory Social Media training/implementation/threat assessment.
Protect your business from legal liability and brand-damaging attacks on your intellectual property, schedule a demo today!