Social media is the primary means of marketing and managing customer experience for SMBs. At least 52% of small businesses post on social media daily, with usage trending upward. Businesses use social media to reach their audience at scale and affordably. If a digital channel, like social media, is critical for doing business, then why is securing social accounts an afterthought?
SMBs face the same digital threats as enterprises. In fact, they are often considered easier targets for cyber attacks. Despite security being a top priority, businesses are not always aware of how social media expands their threat surface, often due to their limited time and resources. It’s vital for SMBs to understand the risks, and implement a proactive approach to mitigate them. One account takeover (ATO), scam, or fraudulent account on social media can inflict serious loss of revenue to an SMB or even put it out of business entirely.
An ATO is when an unauthorized user hijacks and takes control of an account, sometimes through phishing or social engineering attacks. Once taken over, they can cause irreparable damage. Dolce and Gabbana lost access to an entire market after their Instagram account was allegedly taken over last year. There were offensive messages posted from their official account leading up to an event announcing the brand’s arrival to the Chinese market. Instead, the messages went viral, resulting in a boycott of their show, their products pulled from online retailers, and long-term loss of sales.
#2 Brand and Reputation
Even a luxury brand, presumably with access to more resources than a small business, can lose significant revenue from a brand damaging post. For a local business, that could cost them their entire customer base. Social media platforms do not have standard controls in place to alert users about an unauthorized user accessing their account. Finding out your account was taken over the previous night means the damage is already done.
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#3 Phishing Attacks
Some account hacks are more nefarious. Hackers might take over an account and make an inconspicuous post, sending users to a web page that is actually a phishing site. Your customers could surrender their most valuable information, their data, which ultimately compromises your brand trust and reputation.
#4 Fake and Fraudulent Accounts
Businesses also need to be vigilant about fake and fraudulent accounts on social media platforms. LinkedIn blocked and/or removed more than 21M fake accounts in the first half of 2019. Fake accounts are often mentioned in election security news, but they also affect businesses. Bad actors create fake company and employee accounts to trick users into phishing scams.
Securing social media accounts and pages is critical to SMB security. Security vulnerabilities expose companies to brand and reputation damage. Our social media security platform was built to protect the channels that matter most to your business.
We have a single solution that fits the size of your business - whether you have one Facebook page - or your company expands to hundreds of accounts. Get proactive and feel confident communicating with your customers on social.
Guide: Spear Phishing Storm