Social Media Risks of SMBs in the U.S.

Social media is used by small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) of the U.S for advertising the products and services. It also helps in maintaining connection with customers. However, there are certain risks pertaining to the security of the data of SMBs and customers when concerned with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

According to the social media risk index study by Panda Security, among the 315 SMBs surveyed, at least one significant malware or virus infection from social networks was observed by 33 percent of the SMBs. A financial loss was found in about 35 percent of the infected group of SMBs. Facebook was found to be the main site which is responsible for many security problems. Following it were YouTube and Twitter. According to the report, it was found that a further amount of $5,000 was spent by the companies. The percentage of firms using the social networking sites of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn was found to be 69,44, 32, and 23 respectively.

Antivirus and end point security applications should be maintained by the companies for providing consistent and reliable protection from the virus problems. In order to avoid the new emerging threats companies should conduct the governance and education programs about the security issues. A social media governance policy was installed by about 57 percent of companies having less than 1,000 employees. Among them 81 percent of the companies hire specific officials for maintaining the security policies actively.

The employees were educated about the risks and advantages of using social media sites by provision of formal training by 64% of the companies. However, the social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter were banned for use on job by about 62 percent of the companies mostly SMBs. Social networking sites were actively blocked by about 25% of them while maintaining the implementation of gateway security alliances and cloud-based security software services.

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