5 Social Media Cybersecurity Risks and Best Practices for Businesses
Many businesses rely heavily on social media to connect with customers or showcase a new product or service. However, many fail to realize that cybercriminals spend their lives running rampant across every social media network looking for a way to attack. If Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can’t secure their own environments, it’s up to businesses to sharpen their security acumen.
Here are the 5 top social media cybersecurity risks to organizations and how to avoid them.
1. Human Error
Employees are the biggest social media cybersecurity threat. They may click on links sent by new “friends” almost immediately after accepting their request or open attachments even if they appear to have been sent by a known contact.
Create and implement a social media policy and review it throughout the year, not just during employee onboarding. Also, don’t allow any employee to access your company’s social media accounts until they have been trained on social media cybersecurity.
2. Unattended Accounts
It’s a proactive idea to register your brand’s name on all social media channels, even if you do not plan to use them all. This prevents competitors and detractors from getting their hands on them. It’s not a good idea to leave the accounts completely unattended, though. Hackers are always on the lookout for accounts that no one is monitoring and use them to spread malware.
Monitor all of your company’s social media accounts, including the unattended accounts. To prevent unauthorized access, some social media networks, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, allow for two-factor authentication (2FA). This feature prompts you for access when someone is trying to log into the account.
3. Uncontrolled User Access
Some organizations rely on interns or outsourced vendors to manage their marketing efforts. However, giving out social media credentials to multiple employees, vendors or temporary staff poses a huge security risk.
Instead of passing out login credentials like candy, there are social media management platforms that allow you to give employees posting access. These programs also allow you to set up a system of approvals for social media posts. You can also implement a password manager which may not let employees see the actual credentials. It also makes it easier to reset a password in the event of suspicious activity, without having to interfere with employee productivity.
4. Imposter Accounts
Just like email spoofing, hackers set up phony social accounts with handles that closely match your company’s name. They even go so far as to use your images and recent posts to make the account look more authentic. This is a social media cybersecurity risk because your customers or employees may follow or friend these accounts. As a result, hackers may send messages requesting login credentials and other sensitive information or engage in social engineering.
Monitor social media networks for imposter accounts, negative content about your brand and other suspicious activity. Educate your employees and customers when it comes to your social media handles and ask them to report any phony or suspicious activity.
5. Vulnerabilities in Connected Apps
Some companies rely on third-party apps, such as analytics apps. Although these are useful or even necessary, they come with cybersecurity risks such as a data breach.
Before allowing vendors from connecting to your social media accounts, ensure the third-party apps have been vetted by your IT or governance team. Also, ask your third-party vendor about their security policies and technologies, as well as their liability coverage in the event of a data breach.
There are numerous proactive steps your company can take to protect against social media cybersecurity risks. Ultimately it comes down to policy and procedures as well as ongoing user training.