Risks Of Using Social Networking In Business
Released on: March 29, 2011, 7:19 am
Internet & Online
Social Networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace and Youtube
have gained popularity among the younger population. Sites such as
LinkedIn, Plaxo and Xing have followed quickly in their footsteps to
provide the business friendly social network opportunities.
More recently, companies large and small are exploring ways to use social network
site to support and improve sales (Youtube), to find new employees and business
partners (LinkedIn) or to monitor their performance and respond to critics (Yelp and
increasingly Facebook and Twitter).
However, for information security experts commissum.com, businesses looking to embrace these social media channels
and tools in their business need to understand and calculate the benefits and risks
before engaging them.
To consider the risks of using social media for your business consider the following:
Be careful using social media for employment vetting purposes for the same reasons
that employers should not ask about religion, preferences, age, race etc.
Once a business takes the step of using social media, they are opening up a channel
that in most cases you have very limited control of; in fact almost handing over
control to the public. How would the business deal with both fair and unfair
criticisms and opinions expressed on social media websites and how could its
reputation be affected?
Would your employees know what business information can be disclosed on social media
websites and could the business therefore be at risk of involuntary information
Could information on the size, structure of the business and operational details
such as IT infrastructure details be used for initial data gathering activities for
Could the business IT infrastructure be vulnerable to malicious software downloaded
from social network sites?
And lastly consider whether the business should monitor the activities of its
employees to ensure that security is maintained and resources are not being wasted
by social networking activities.
“The risks of using social media encompass all aspects of the business; legal,
employment, technical, operational and reputation”, according to a commissum spokesperson.
“The decision to use social media should therefore be taken after careful
consideration of the business reasons and benefits, an assessment of all risks and
the implementation of comprehensive controls to mitigate the risks which must
include policies and appropriate user training and awareness measures.”
With 20 years of experience, commissum is adept at offering practical advice and
recommending cost-effective solutions, to deliver a joined-up, coherent approach to
protecting an organisation's information assets.
142 Commercial Street,
Tel: 0845 644 3217
Fax: 0845 108 2062
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