5 Social Media Risks for Companies and Employees… And How To Prevent Them

According to a new study based on IT governance groups, businesses need to know the risks of social media. The new study lists the five risks associated with Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social networking time-suckers. These warnings seem a bit hyper-vigilant, but one can never be too careful when it comes to your business. Read the five risks after the jump.

John Pironti, an ISACA Certification Committee member says,”With social media, there are so many platforms and environments to learn. What are the implications of what could happen? People don’t think of the damage that could occur to an organization. They see it as a way to explore relationship with work people. We take some of the social out of their lives by asking people to work longer hours. They’re looking for a balance — to still have a relationship with friends and peers.”

Here are the committee’s top risks when creating a corporate social media identity, and their suggested solutions.

Social Media Risks for Companies

1) Viruses and malware — Data leakage/theft.

Prevention: Make sure antivirus and anti-malware controls are installed and updated daily. Create updating policies, standards, and training.

2) Brand hijacking — Customer gets exposed to hijacked and fraudulent presence.

Prevention: Find a firm that can protect your brand. Update customers on potential fraud.

3) Lack of control over corporate content — When employees post wrong or improper information on social media sites.

Prevention: Establish clear policies that dictate what can and cannot be shared. Create the capability to capture and log all communications.

4) Unrealistic expectations of customer service at Internet-speed.

Prevention: Make sure staff can handle traffic associated with social media presence. Create notice with clear timeline for responses.

5) Mismanagement of electronic communications that may be impacted by retention regulations or e-discovery.

Prevention: Establish policies and processes that ensure all communications are tracked.

My favorite part of this report lists the risks of employees’ personal use of social media.

Social Media Risks for Employees

1) Using personal accounts to communicate work related information.

Prevention: Have HR establish policies and awareness training so employees do not share company info.

2) Posting pictures or information that might damage a company’s brand.

Prevention: Again, work with HR to develop policies that explain what can and cannot be shared.

3) Excessive employee use of social media in the workplace.

Prevention: Create content filtering or limit access to sites.

4) Employee access to social media via mobile, which may result in data theft or leakage.

Prevention: More policies, more training, more controls.

I’m not sure employees will appreciate these guidelines, but employers might enjoy a little guidance in the face of social media madness in the office.

Find the full white-paper with more on risks as well as benefits here.

Here’s the original story.

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