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Social Media Use Can Create Cybersecurity Risks for Your Company

  • By: Garry Feldman
  • Date: June 28, 2017

Social media use by your employees may seem fairly harmless — a distraction, at worst — but it can invite significant cyber security risks.

The key to managing these risks is to audit your current practices, identify key weaknesses and then determine the appropriate policies and measures that can shrink security gaps. With an analysis of your current risks and expertise from an experienced cyber security company in Fairfield County, you can minimize the chances that an infiltrator will use social media as a way to weaken your defenses and cause network break-ins or data theft.

To truly understand how much of a risk social media can be — regardless of whether it is for professional and personal use — consider the following threats it can pose.

Social Media Postings About Professional Work Can Fuel Phishing Schemes

One of the most ubiquitous risks posed by employee social media use can happen both inside and outside the office. When employees constantly post about their professional life, they leave clues to hackers for the perfect type of phishing email to send.

For instance, if your VP of product is talking on LinkedIn about how they are nervous about their big presentation coming up for a trade show, a phishing hacker can create a customized email titled “Last minute notes on that presentation…” with a convincing fake Powerpoint file attached. By the time the employee clicks on the file, it is too late, and your entire network could be compromised by something similar to the WannaCry ransomware attacks.

If this scenario sounds far-fetched, realize that today’s hackers are far removed from the “Nigerian princes” of yesteryear. Now, each one mines data to send personalized phishing messages that are convincing and therefore have a high probability of being opened. They can see what your employees post online, too, and use this information to tailor their attack strategy.

What you can do: Set clear policies that employees should not post specific information about work activities unless they have their account privacy settings changed from “public” to “friends” only. Also, implement solutions that can prevent phishing or reduce the impact of malware infiltrations.

Joined Company and Personal Accounts Can Create Password Management Risks

If you have an employee or a team that manages your company’s branded social media account, you should be aware of the risks of having their accounts joined or attached to personal email accounts. On LinkedIn, for instance, they may have to have the company profile attached to a personal LinkedIn profile in order to sign in and operate. Other times, they may have a social media account linked to a generic email.

Issues arise when a personal social media account or email account gets hacked, giving hackers access to the associated social media profiles. They can use these profiles to post content that damages your brand, or they can dig deeper to infiltrate other emails and social media profiles.

What you can do: Use professional emails with company domains for all social media accounts. Give more than one person access to the company social media page so that employees do not get too comfortable merging activities between the two when they log in. Implement policies and solutions that monitor for attacks and prevent intrusions from progressing further.

Close Gaps in Social Media Security With a Cyber security Company in Fairfield County

In all cases, you should audit security risks throughout your company and respond to them with a comprehensive set of technology-based cybersecurity solutions as well as the appropriate internal policies.

Find out exactly what your company needs to do to protect itself by hiring a cyber security consultant and managed IT services company to provide their expertise and apply the latest, most-secure solutions that can perfectly fit your organization.

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