Social media is a tried and tested strategy for business growth. They spread the word fast, much more than the standard website can do, and they allow for personalized engagement with potential and existing customers. Social media lets businesses address concerns immediately, greatly boosts SEO, and reaches audiences of all demographics.
Naturally, anything so popular has its attendant risks. And security threats gravitate to this platform as ants to a picnic. A hacked social media account can spell disaster to your business. There are many tales of large corporations that have been victimized. Small businesses are particularly prone to attacks because of inadequate security measures.
Here are 4 common security threats and how you can manage them:
A favorite target of hackers are online business sites because of transactions that require passwords, credit card information, and other data that they can steal. But it’s not only business and consumer brands that engage with their followers on social media sites. The convenience and popularity of this type of platform have drawn the professional services industry, too. Lawyers, doctors, accountants, and other professions discuss business matters and send and receive files with delicate information that can leave them and their clients vulnerable.
For your business to thrive, you must also look after the security of your customers’ information especially in online payments. You can mitigate the risk of having data stolen by using a third-party partner for storing credit card information. Get an SSL certificate to protect your site. Comply with PCI DDS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) for added protection.
Additionally, avoid sending files such as legal papers, medical records and financial matters as attachments through social media, even if it’s a PM or DM. A secure option is online faxing. It is encrypted, making it secure, and paperless, so the information is not lying around in a physical office.
The cryptocurrency crash in 2018 saw hackers using cryptomining malware to gain unauthorized access to a device and mine for digital currency. Even if you’re not involved in the cryptocurrency business, your social media site can still be corrupted with the malware disguised as an ad with a link. Your followers that click on the link get infected and suffer from internet slowing down, overheated batteries, or a total crash that renders a device useless. In the meantime, hackers are busy cryptojacking and hauling in cyber coins.
Protecting your business sites from this new type of malware includes adding layers of defense to reduce the risk and educating your followers on safe practices. Because this is a new type of hacking, security vendors are still studying network traffic to detect anomalous cryptomining activity.
Employee-prompted breach or risks
Employees with access to their business’ social media can unwittingly put their company’s accounts at risk for hacking or malware attacks with their seemingly harmless actions. You can mitigate these risks by creating a social media policy and training of employees. The following rules should be for strictly observed:
- Do not click on ads.
- Do not give out passwords.
- Do not engage with questionable posts.
- Use a password manager for remote teams.
- Do not accept friend requests from people you don’t know.
- Do not open account on public wi-fi, ex. Airports, hotels, etc.
- Phishing and creating fake accounts of your business social sites.
In social media phishing, attackers impersonate your business account or pretend to be your customer service representative. They trick your followers into giving them sensitive information such as personal and financial data or click on a ransomware. Such experiences will give your company a bad image.
As a business owner, you should have a system of management that includes regular checks for fake accounts impersonating your business. Check that old, unattended accounts, or seldom used ones have not been taken over by hackers posting false reports and scams that draw followers. If you have found fake accounts, inform your legal department immediately for appropriate action.