The Human Element is Essential to Safe Social Networking

Risks_of_SharingThis is common wisdom, but it bears repeating, because common wisdom is easily overlooked. People are often called an organization's greatest asset. They're also its greatest cybersecurity risk, especially while they're on social media. Technology won't completely offset employee mistakes that open the door to cyberattacks.

Employees know about scams, phishing, and emails containing malicious content, but they tend to be unfamiliar with the risks that go with social networking. Social networking in the context of business is based on building brands and relationships, and where there are relationships, there's the possibility of social engineering.

Social networking involves engagement. Likes, sharing and comments all work to develop relationships, which can be trusted. Employees may think they are interacting with customers needing help or potential customers looking for information, instead, they may be in contact with criminals trying to breach the organization.

Without training, employees could put themselves and the organization at risk. Managing social media is a specific job responsibility. Like it or not, every employee active on social media, becomes an unofficial representative of the company’s brand. Simple mistakes can have lasting effects.

One of the riskier features of social networking is its tendency to blur the lines between personal and professional activity. It's possible for an organization to give employees choices that can keep them safe while networking: some establish a social media task force, or train social networking as part of professional development.

It comes down to human tendencies and error. With proper training—interactive, and tailored to the organization's business, mission, and environment—the human element can become an asset instead of a liability. A robust presence in social media is invaluable, but it's best when it's maintained within a culture of security.  Dark Reading has the story.


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