Is Social Media Security Good Enough for Corporate Use?

Sue Marquette Poremba

I’m beginning to wonder if using social media for brand marketing makes sense any more.

I understood why companies turned to social media initially. That’s where people “hang out” online. Thanks to DVR, we aren’t sitting through commercials, and print media and advertising don’t have quite the same impact as they once did. Marketing goes to where the people are.

But we also know that social media struggles with security. They are easy targets for hackers, and one reason they are easy targets is because users just aren’t smart about security themselves. This week’s Twitter hacks show that while social media allow companies to get their brand out in front of people for minimal cost, it’s also easy for a competitor or anyone with a grudge or a warped sense of humor to hurt your brand, all because of sloppy security habits.

It was a sloppy security habit that led to the Burger King and Jeep Twitter hacks, according to InformationWeek:


The hacking of the Burger King and Jeep accounts led Twitter's director of information security, Bob Lord, to issue "a friendly reminder about password security" in a blog post Tuesday, thus suggesting that the Twitter accounts were hijacked thanks to users' poor password hygiene practices.

The article also points out that Twitter isn’t blameless in this hack, either, and questions whether Twitter is able to support the security needs of a corporate user. It’s a question that I think should spread out to all social media. Are social media able to provide a level of security that not only protects the average user but also the more complex corporate user?

When I talk to folks about cloud security, one of the questions I always bring up is who is responsible for security for the data stored in the cloud – the customer or the provider? I think that’s a fair question for social media sites and corporate users as well. In the recent Twitter incidents, is it the company’s responsibility to make sure its accounts are well protected from hackers (on some level, yes – at least use better passwords) or is it the social media site’s responsibility to make sure hackers can’t gain unauthorized access to an account? I personally think it needs to be a shared responsibility.



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