Social Media Compliance Risks and Cybersecurity Threats

Date: 29 December 2022

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The fact that social media usage for professional networking is growing at an exponential rate is something almost everyone is aware of. Businesses across the world use social media to connect with customers and prospective employees, obtain market intelligence, and enhance their marketing efforts.

However, social media also comes with some serious compliance concerns, and companies that don’t adequately address those risks face the potential to lose customers, contracts, money and goodwill in the market.

While many companies may be unaware of the existence of social media compliance risks, the reality is that their social media usage does pose certain cybersecurity challenges.

What are the most common social media compliance risk factors?

Human errors

It is estimated that 88% of all data breaches can be attributed to human mistakes. While human error is inevitable, it becomes a problem when it has serious consequences in the realm of cybersecurity. Employees frequently make mistakes because they are unaware that they are doing anything incorrectly.

Those who use social media for connecting with prospective customers, reaching out to new business partners or for recruitment purposes can have sensitive personal and official data in their message inboxes, mail history etc. And it is imperative that they are careful about how they handle and process this data. 

Phishing attacks

While phishing emails have become commonplace, phishing using social media has been steadily on the rise. While some attacks aim to steal information, others will try to defraud the company out of money by convincing employees to make unneeded purchases or share privileged credentials. 

Weak passwords

Many employees still use easily cracked passwords for their social media accounts, both personally and for official use as well. Users may mistakenly assume they don't require a robust password for these accounts because of the perceived sense of lower risk. However, using strong passwords for Facebook, LinkedIn and even Instagram accounts is essential for those who may be using social media for connecting with clients, recruitment purposes etc. 

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How to mitigate social media compliance & cybersecurity risks? 

Given the numerous compliance risks associated with social media usage, it is essential that companies take steps to reduce the risk of human error, phishing attacks, weak passwords, and other problems. 

Here are four suggestions to mitigate social media compliance and cybersecurity risks: 

Create social media policies that outline expectations

Having a social media policy for your company is crucial. If your company and employees use social media for commercial purposes, this policy should serve as a checklist of best practices. Having a firm social media cybersecurity policy may assist in reducing the risk of cybersecurity breaches, negative publicity, and legal trouble.

If you don’t know how and where to start building your cybersecurity policy from, you may consider hiring a Virtual Cyber Assistant service that can help you get started conveniently and cost-effectively.  

Social media policies provide employees with guidelines for social media usage, prevent errors, and ensure that the company is adhering to the acceptable use of social media platforms.

Copyright, privacy, and brand standards are all things you should address in your social media posts. Social media may be a great way to connect with colleagues and clients, but it is mandatory to set expectations for how they should be used for professional purposes and how to avoid common pitfalls.

Implement multi-factor authentication

There is a simple solution that can be used across all social media accounts to significantly increase their safety. Every significant social network out there now has multi-factor authentication (MFA). When you try to log in, it effectively requests an extra form of identification.

Credential verification services come in a wide variety of forms. Either a passcode would be delivered to the user's mobile device, another passcode would be inputted, or biometric data would be validated.

MFA can help reduce the risk of data breaches and protect against social engineering attacks. 

 

Use an enterprise-grade social media archiving solution 

Business owners are increasingly worried about the potential consequences of social media violations. Fines and penalties, as well as harm to one's reputation, may result from infractions.

In court, social media evidence can prove to be invaluable, potentially costing businesses a fortune in penalties and damaging their image.

By taking precautions to reduce the risk of non-compliance with social media policies, businesses can prevent these outcomes. Even while social media compliance issues cannot be eliminated entirely, social media archiving software is a valuable tool for minimizing such risks.

Educate your employees

One of the greatest challenges companies face in the realm of social media compliance is the need to educate employees about the risks associated with social media usage.

Employees often mistakenly believe that they don’t need to take precautions against cyber threats, and employers must convey to employees that cybersecurity is everyone's business, not just theirs.

live cybersecurity training

Providing staff with adequate cybersecurity training is crucial. You may also consider enrolling some of the key members of your IT & Incident Response team in a compliance and governance training that can better equip them to understand and comply with cybersecurity standards and regulations, not only pertaining to social media.   

Employees need training on how to be safe on social media. Good training may forewarn employees of potential dangers and provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to solve problems when they emerge.

Over to you

Social media usage has a variety of benefits, but it also comes with a variety of risks. Those risks can be mitigated through appropriate social media compliance policies and the use of an enterprise-grade social media archiving solution.

By addressing social media compliance risks, you can avoid a host of potential cybersecurity and data privacy problems and protect your reputation and bottom-line.

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