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Since its introduction a little over a two decades ago, social media has seen exponential growth . Ad Week reported that two-thirds of Americans and 88 percent of businesses have accounts on one or more social media websites. This creates a world that is connected like never before. Sites like Facebook and Twitter have grown from their role as social forums. Now, these websites are a place where people go beyond peer-to-peer interaction and into person-to-brand interactions. Companies use social media to connect with clients and employees. Additionally, marketers have realized the potential for social media as a digital marketplace, but they were not alone in their recognition for social media’s financial potential.
“88% of businesses have accounts on one or more social media websites.”
As more people began to share vast amounts of personal information with companies via a digital medium, cybercriminals and bad actors found new entry points to confidential information. In the e-book “Cybersecurity in Our Digital Lives,” the National Cybersecurity Institute stated that society is sharing more information digitally than ever before, which in turn, creates “new points of compromise.” So, while Facebook pages and Twitter feeds can help companies connect more efficiently with their clients, they also open all parties to new risks. Cybercriminals can hack into businesses’ social media sites and steal company and client information. Breaches like these are costly for companies both financially and in terms of a business’s reputation.
The key to avoiding a cyberattack on your business through social media is to employ people who are trained to spot and correct digital vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity training for non-IT employees also prevents security mistakes such as weak user IDs and passwords. Training can help eliminate insider threats. Facebook is taking a proactive approach and hiring more individuals trained in cybersecurity to monitor its servers, but the companies themselves have to be vigilant as well. Creator of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg recently introduced a social media platform called ThreatExchange where companies can go to share information on cyberthreats. By hiring professionals with backgrounds in cybersecurity, providing adequate digital training for other employees and keeping informed of the latest threats, companies can protect themselves from cyberattacks.
Ultimately, social media is an indispensable tool in our lives. It is where we connect and conduct business. It allows us to expand our markets and promote our products. Cyberthreats should not detract from the convenience and advantages of social media usage. By adhering to cybersecurity best practices, companies can protect themselves from most of these attacks. Information security training can help minimize risk as well. For more information on cybersecurity programs or to begin your career as a cybersecurity professional, visit NCI’s website now.