With 2.41 billion active users on Facebook, one billion Instagrammers and approximately 330 million monthly Twitter users, it’s basically inevitable for businesses to showcase their brands online. The intelligent algorithms allow companies to learn consumer interests for effective targeting and social media campaigning. Based on this, it seems that social media can only positively impact companies. Although this holds some truth, the heavy traffic also acts as a gateway for virtual threats and cyberattacks.
As social media continues to evolve, so do hacking methods. While traditional methods of infection, such as email phishing, removable media, and malvertising are still utilized, hackers are now also attracted to social media. They target business networks through employee social media accounts, according to Mondo.
In other words, if you thought personal profiles posed no threat to your business, think again. Facebook estimates that 50 million to 100 million monthly users are fake duplicate profiles and 14 million of those are malicious on the platform.
Social media has simplified phishing for hackers. Instead of stealing private information, attackers now spear-phish their victims. They accomplish this by impersonating friends and family members on platforms like Facebook. If successful, a victim will click on a dangerous link and the attack is complete.
What are the methods of social media hackers?
According to Mondo, hackers search Facebook timelines, Twitter feeds, followers, friends and Instagram hashtags. They accurately detect who your employees interact with most so that when the links are sent, the messages look like they’re coming from a trusted source.
Fortunately, social media platforms automatically flag fishy messages. They also notify users if something doesn’t seem quite right and give them the option to block unknown and unwanted accounts. The concern, however, is that as social media becomes smarter, so do attackers.
What can businesses do to prevent social media cyberattacks?
- Start with cybersecurity training. Educate employees on different types of cyberattacks like phishing, ransomware, malvertising and what these attacks might look like on various social platforms.
- For extra caution, request that employees do not tag your company in personal posts, especially if your business keeps sensitive information or has been attacked in the past. This will reduce the chance of a hacker finding you.
- Encourage regular password updates and the highest privacy settings on all employee social media accounts. Use Facebook’s privacy settings as a reference.
- Limit employee access to company social media pages and passwords. If they don’t need to be an editor or an admin of your Facebook page, don’t make them one. Also consider limiting their access to social media in general while using your company network.
- Store company information in the cloud. This way your business is extra secure in the event of an attempted social media cyberthreat. Invest in Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and Backup as a Service (BaaS) powered by Veeam Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery, to ensure your data is always protected.
Any company with a social media presence is at risk for an attack. Businesses can decrease vulnerability by having social media protocols in place and increasing employee awareness. Remember that as social media evolves, cyberattacks will too, which is even more of a reason to keep up with platform changes and trends.