Story image

Social media a gateway for cyber criminals

16 Feb 2016

Personal and professional lines are becoming increasingly mixed online, with social media putting a lot of personal data in the public domain.

As a result, companies need to think about how they are keeping corporate assets secure.

That’s according to Ixia, who says that despite the value social media gives to businesses, there are risks.

“The value of social media to business is clear. It can amplify customer engagement, build brand identity, and raise awareness of products and ideas,” says Stephen Urquhart, general manager ANZ, Ixia.

“This increased exposure means added risks,” he says.

“Social media platforms put a lot of personal and professional information into the public sphere, making social profiling easier than ever. This, in addition to the ease of communication provided by social media platforms, increases the opportunity for cybercriminals to dupe employees into clicking on dodgy links or inadvertently downloading malware,” Urquhart explains.

He says organisations need to offer training and have appropriate network security infrastructure in place to avoid the risk of information breach or data theft arising from social media activity.

According to Urquhart, phishing remains one of the top vulnerability sources of for businesses.

“Social media can make it easy for a cybercriminal to pose as a colleague or a friend, send a phishing message via a social media platform or email, and fool someone into unknowingly providing an entry point to an organisation’s system,” he explains.

Urquhart says organisations can protect themselves against the potential of such an attack with five steps:

1. Make sure employees engage in social media only when using a secure connection or network

2. Educate employees about phishing scams, including how to recognise them and how to avoid them

3. Implement a policy that restricts what information can be shared publicly and which sites can be visited

4. Test the network regularly to reduce the likelihood of potential vulnerabilities

5. Subscribe to a threat intelligence service for a proactive way to minimise potential threats

“Social media has become unavoidable for most businesses, so organisations and individuals need to protect their social media presence just as they would protect their laptop or their network,” Urquhart adds.

Industrial control component vulnerabilities up 30%
Positive Technologies says exploitation of these vulnerabilities could disturb operations by disrupting command transfer between components.
McAfee announces Google Cloud Platform support
McAfee MVISION Cloud now integrates with GCP Cloud SCC to help security professionals gain visibility and control over their cloud resources.
WatchGuard announces A/NZ partners awards
Four Australian companies were named partner award winners at the WatchGuard conference in Vietnam.
Telstra’s 2019 cybersecurity report
Cybersecurity remains a top business priority as the estimated number of undetected security breaches grows.
Why AI and behaviour analytics should be essential to enterprises
Cyber threats continue to increase in number and severity, prompting cybersecurity experts to seek new ways to stop malicious actors.
Scammers targeting more countries in sextortion scam - ESET
The attacker in the email claims they have hacked the intended victim's device, and have recorded the person while watching pornographic content.
Cryptojacking and failure to patch still major threats - Ixia
Compromised enterprise networks from unpatched vulnerabilities and bad security hygiene continued to be fertile ground for hackers in 2018.
Why cybersecurity remains a top business priority
One in two Australian businesses estimated that they will receive fines for being in breach of new legislation.