Social Media Malware A Cause of Concern for Small Businesses

While social media is gaining increasing acceptance amongst small and medium-scale businesses, nearly a third of SMEs are concerned over its security concerns and claim to have experienced malware or virus infection as a result of staff using social media websites. This is one of the many findings reported by Panda’s “1st Annual Social Media Risk Index for Small to Medium Sized Businesses” survey.

Panda Security is a well known name in the world of cloud computing and social media.

Social Media Risk Index for Small to Medium Sized Businesses

The goal of this survey was to unearth security concerns of small and medium sized businesses when it comes to adopting social media. The survey involved 315 U.S.-based companies which have a head count ranging between 15-1000 employees.

The survey confirms that social media is now the norm rather an exception amongst small and medium sized businesses. Nearly 69.3 percent companies use Facebook, 44.4 percent are Twitter users, 32 percent actively watch videos on YouTube and 22.9 percent use LinkedIn for professional networking.

The survey also reveals that more than half the SMBs have a “social media governance” policy in place to regulate access to social networks. Some other interesting findings of this survey include

  • More than 77 percent of the businesses currently use social media tools
  • Nearly half the businesses use social media for “research and competitive intelligence”. IMO, this statistic is truly a testimony to the value that social media adds to a business.
  • Nearly half the businesses use social media for customer service.
  • Around 43 percent businesses use social media for PR and marketing needs.
  • Around 35 percent businesses use social media for sales and revenue creation

Social Media Governance

IMO, the survey brings up a very interesting point regarding social media governance. With social media, comes power. And power should be used responsibly. Therefore, I’m all for implementing social media governance to ensure that SMEs get the best business value out of social media.

Further, SMEs should proactively monitor their social media usage and assign these responsibilities to specific individuals/ groups within the organization. The survey also highlights a strong need to train employees on the benefits and risks associated with social media.

When it comes to using social media for businesses, “Ignorance isn’t bliss, it is a recipe for disaster.”

Privacy ranks amongst the top concerns of businesses, followed by malware threats, reputation damage, employee productivity loss and network performance issues. If a business wants to leverage social media, it is advisable to do the home work first and be knowledgeable about the risks involved, before jumping on to the social media bandwagon.

What’s your opinion on this? Is social media malware a challenge for your business? Do you have a social media governance policy in place? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment below this post.

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