6 Ways Social Media Impacts Security For Business

Social media has definitely transcended the generation gap. My parents have taken to Facebook to keep in touch with extended family and to learn of updates of the second generation. The other day I was talking to a friend of mine, who said to me, that her brother was making plans to go to India on a month long trip and that instead of telling her about it personally, he figured she may have read in on a facebook page.

It got me thinking harder on how we have come to accept this technology in our day to day lives.  Truly, Social networking has transformed the way the connected masses communicate.

How does this translate to business?

As we live in a socially connected workplace; there is free flow of information between people and their ‘followers’. Securing Social Media is a hot topic, as social media, like any advanced technology platform, can pose serious risks to an organization’s network, data, and reputation.

With the proper security, social networking can be a powerful enabler for change.

  1. Information flows between employees and their online followers; this can pose security risks to the organization’s network, data and users. Now businesses must change and adapt the way they secure their networks and data.
  2. Businesses must take extraordinary care to craft an integrated security strategy that balances employee education with sophisticated network monitoring and data protection practices.
  3. Businesses need a proactive— and powerfully persuasive—communications plan to educate their user community about social media risks, personal and company impacts, and expected behaviors.
  4. Top Down approach– Management should support the communications plan with targeted protections to mitigate the risks of social networking,  a phenomenon that will only continue to gain force.
  5. Beyond the external threat– It’s not just the hackers businesses must worry about. In addition to leaking sensitive information, individual users of social networks can distort information about a company (or its employees) to create public relations disasters.
  6. Business and Technology balance: To safeguard critical data, mitigate data leakage, and control intellectual property, chief information security officers (CISOs) must adopt a two-pronged strategy that leverages the experience and leadership of the business and technology sides of their companies.

With the proper security, social networking can be a powerful enabler for change. However, businesses will stand to benefit only if policies and technologies work in concert to safeguard data and the network.

How is your organization making your security program work in favor of this trend? How are you working on enforcing the social media security policy?
Bindu Sundaresan Strategic Security Solutions Lead AT&T About Bindu