Firms in denial about risks of social media says security chief

Social Media Risks & SecurityThis week we were really interested to read a BBC article by Gordon Corera titled ‘Thwarting terror’s cyber warfare’.

In particular, we spotted that head of GCHQ Robert Hannigan is quoted as saying that firms are ‘in denial; with reference to the way the internet is being used by terrorists and criminals, calling for governments to work harder to protect citizens.

This statement really resonated with us here at SoCrowd. We write frequently about the risks of social media and we are gravely concerned about the lack of genuine knowledge and understanding across business leaders and key decision makers when it comes to social media.

Recently we reported on the ‘worrying management gap in social media‚’ identified in recent research by Source for Consulting who found that despite the dramatic increase in the usage of social media by enterprises, only 17% of those surveyed (out of 160) had any type of social media management protocol or management process in place.

These results would certainly support Hannigan — call it denial, call it lack of understanding, call it what you want — the reality is that whilst the head in the sand mentality continues we will continue to read about security breaches on social media.

We believe that the government does have a responsibility to take the issues seriously and lead by example to provide insight for the UK business community at large to follow. We are staggered at how many British businesses fail to make the link between the geographical location of social media platforms and UK law and compliance.

Not only does this make life very challenging when trying to get content removed but leaves many businesses in breach of their own governance around data management, which is why we promote the buy british message when it comes to social media management.

This cascade of best practice also needs to reach the voluntary sector who are really grappling with the issue of social media security and risk. The example over the past few weeks of the Rugby League club which had it’s website hacked by ISIS is just another example of the issues that the voluntary sector face.

And in dealing with the security issues we must also be very aware of the challenges faced by British Teens. They need help, support and education about social media like never before. The stakes are so high for them with devastating personal effect when it goes wrong.

The ‘Snappening’ wont be the last social media issue that young people face across the UK and we wonder who is leading on these issues from government?

All we can hope for is that our leaders get a grip of the issues soon and act to help the British public tackle the security issues presented.

SoCrowd is the UK’s leading social media risk management and compliance platform built for enterprise.  Our clients benefit from advanced security and brand protection features, that sit alongside crowd engagement tools, to protect brand reputations in social media environments.