Security Implications of Social Media – CompTIA Security+ SY0-401: 2.2

The use of social media is an important part of marketing an organization, but it can bring a number of security concerns. In this video, you’ll learn about security concerns in social media and you’ll discover how the lack of security on a social media account caused a problem for a major organization.

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Social media is a fantastic way for your organization to communicate with partners and customers and other third parties, but of course this can create challenges, especially if there’s a third party involved to help you manage that process. And in many organizations you may not even be managing your own Twitter feed or your Facebook presence at all. You may be handing off your entire social media presence to a third party who then has access not only to things that are inside of your organization, but also to what people hear about your organization.

If your organization maintains a social media account, you’ll notice there is a lot of information contained in that account, not necessarily about your organization, but about the people that are following your organization. You may have now a large database of user names, of actual names of people, of their pictures and other information as well. This is an extremely valuable amount of information that third parties would love to get their hands on. So it’s very important that if you’re managing one of these third-party accounts– especially in social media– that you’re able to maintain the security of that information.

If you do have a third-party company that is representing you in a social media environment, then you want to be very particular about the tone that they use. You obviously want to have them appearing as your organization, but you also want to be careful that they’re saying the right things and that they aren’t embarrassing or saying things that are inappropriate about your organization. The physical control of your social media accounts can also be a concern. Obviously with a third party that’s handling this for you, it’s usually not just one person, but a large group of people who may be responsible for managing your social media accounts. And when you have that many people who have access to your accounts, sometimes problems can occur.

One of these situations occurred with the American Red Cross in 2011. This is obviously an organization that has a stellar reputation, but there was more than one person that had access to post to the social media accounts of the American Red Cross. And they sent out a message that said that Ryan found two more four-bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch beer. When we drink, we do it right. The choice of beer aside, obviously the Red Cross was very concerned that this particular tweet had been sent out, and they deleted it. And they apologized and said, “We’ve made sure that, indeed, behind the scenes, we’ve gained control of our own account, and we’re all working sober.”

The folks at Dogfish Head actually took it to the next level and began working a blood drive in conjunction with the American Red Cross, so that we could use that particular mistake that was made to actually get something positive afterwards. This isn’t always the case. Sometimes when these messages go out they can have very, very bad effects on how you are viewed as an organization. So it’s very important that you’re able to ensure the control and security of your social media accounts.