Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

Social Networking Here To Stay Despite Security Risks

IT pros must find a way to balance the risks and rewards of Web 2.0 platforms like Facebook and Linked In, security expert says.

Companies need to accept that employees will spend at least part of their day on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In, and need to adopt strategies and policies to manage and secure such activity rather than attempting to outlaw it, an expert who spoke Thursday at the Interop IT Conference and Expo in Las Vegas said.

"The question isn’t whether to block or not to block" said Ben Rothke, senior security consultant with British Telecom. “Blocking simply won’t work,” said Rothke, who noted that even conservative organizations, such as Boeing, have adopted Web 2.0 technologies as part of their marketing and communications strategies.

To boot, Fortune 500 companies like General Motors are driven millions of dollars in incremental sales through their Twitter and Facebook accounts. But as valuable as social media can be, it also presents security risks. "You have to get in front of the wave, learn what the challenges are and what information may be at risk," said Rothke.

One of the biggest risks that social networking poses to organizations is that employees may be exposing information that's not meant for public consumption, especially in highly regulated environments like banking and healthcare, in industries that rely heavily on proprietary research and development, or even in the military.

"Boeing or the U.S. Marines are going to face different challenges than Starbucks," said Rothke.

An effective social media security strategy starts with employee education, Rothke said. "It’s the three Cs, it has to be clear, comprehensive, and continuous. You can’t give an awareness briefing on day one and then forget about it. It has to be ongoing."

Rothke added that employees should know in advance the consequences of inappropriate postings. "Let them know that it’s no joke, and that they could lose their job in three tweets."

The bottom line, however, is that IT pros need to accept the fact that social networking sites and other Web 2.0 technologies are now a fact of life in the enterprise, and they must learn to deal with them.

"You can’t say no to a CEO who wants to implement a social networking strategy. IT must come to the table with answers," Rothke said.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
7 Old IT Things Every New InfoSec Pro Should Know
Joan Goodchild, Staff Editor,  4/20/2021
News
Cloud-Native Businesses Struggle With Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/6/2021
Commentary
Defending Against Web Scraping Attacks
Rob Simon, Principal Security Consultant at TrustedSec,  5/7/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-22668
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-16
Delta Industrial Automation CNCSoft ScreenEditor Versions 1.01.28 (with ScreenEditor Version 1.01.2) and prior are vulnerable to an out-of-bounds read while processing project files, which may allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code.
CVE-2021-29039
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-16
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Asset module's categories administration page in Liferay Portal 7.3.4 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the site name.
CVE-2020-16632
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-15
A XSS Vulnerability in /uploads/dede/action_search.php in DedeCMS V5.7 SP2 allows an authenticated user to execute remote arbitrary code via the keyword parameter.
CVE-2021-32073
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-15
DedeCMS V5.7 SP2 contains a CSRF vulnerability that allows a remote attacker to send a malicious request to to the web manager allowing remote code execution.
CVE-2021-33033
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
The Linux kernel before 5.11.14 has a use-after-free in cipso_v4_genopt in net/ipv4/cipso_ipv4.c because the CIPSO and CALIPSO refcounting for the DOI definitions is mishandled, aka CID-ad5d07f4a9cd. This leads to writing an arbitrary value.