The risks and challenges of Social Networking on the Business

11 Nov

Social business has been defined in previous blogs. I am going to look at some of the risks and challenges associated with social media in business. Online criminals are quick to exploit any popular activity to make money. Social networking is especially attractive because it exploits trust between friends and it is inherently viral by nature. I found an interesting article below from ( which outlines some of theses risks

Risks include:

“• MalwareSocial networking is easy, with a variety of apps that enable you to interact with customers. So users are very open to seeing new things on social networking that they need to click on and install in order to participate in some kind of activity. For malware writers, it’s a goldmine. Malware distributors are constantly looking for new ways to distribute malware, with their new weapon of choice being malicious apps, which are similar to old-style email worms so that they infect your friends

Targeted attacksRarer but more sinister and on the increase. Using social engineering and custom-written malware, criminals or corporate spies trick people into installing virtually undetectable spyware on their computers. Social networks make it much easier to discover corporate hierarchies, groups of friends and a target’s personal and professional interests. All this makes it much easier to craft an irresistible message containing the Trojan and puts companies at serious risk of data theft.

Blended attacksSocial networking teaches users to click on links in emails, making malicious spoof emails even more attractive.

Revealing secretsThere are plenty of opportunities for indiscretion on social networking sites. One example reveals how thoughtless people can be online, even when their own lives are at stake. In 2010, the Israeli Defence Forces called off a raid after a solder posted the time and destination in advance on Facebook.

Reputation riskEmployees, even senior managers, may feel more relaxed about public pronouncements on social networking sites or on their blogs than they would in a press release. Employees don’t always think about what they say or do online. In a Deloitte report on the subject, 53 percent of employees thought that their social networking pages were none of their employers’ business. Certainly, most companies don’t vet people’s blog comments before they are published in the way that they check official pronouncements.

HacktivismHacktivists, disgruntled employees and customers can use social networking to create bad publicity for companies. Account hijacking or the use of company pages or sites with similar names (e.g. the the spoof ‘@BPGlobalPR’ Twitter account that activists set up during the 2010 Gulf oil spill8) can attract a lot of attention and traffic.

Social engineeringBecause people tend to over-share information on social networking sites, criminals and malicious hackers can put together a profile of their victims. They can use this to send targeted spyware attacks. Corporate rivals and other predators can use social networking information to understand the internal workings of your company. For example, you probably wouldn’t publish your organisation chart and the contact details of senior management online but a rival could piece this information together from website profiles.

SpamJust as email spam is costly to filter and time-consuming to deal with manually, social networking spam is increasingly a problem. It can waste people’s time and contribute to other problems, such as malware attacks. For example, even though Twitter has improved its internal spam filtering, in 2010, one tweet in a hundred is spam; that’s something like 650,000 spam messages a day”



4 Responses to “The risks and challenges of Social Networking on the Business”

  1. blackbird333 November 22, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    I enjoyed reading your blog. There are many risks and challenge with Social Business. You may find my recent blog interesting where I discuss the steps to avoid the risks associated with Social Business.

    • billynomates2012 November 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

      Blackbird, the steps you have identified is definately a strategic way of developing social business in order to erradicate risks associated with it. If business adopt social business intelligently and take into consideration the ability to avoid risks you have outlined will help a business

      • blackbird333 November 23, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

        Yes I do believe that it is imperative to avoid these risks by going through the four steps I outlined. These steps would lessen the potential risks involved with Social Business.


  1. How to avoid Social Business risks. « So Opinionated … - November 16, 2012

    […] le1008 ( and billynomates2012 (… ) have provided the risks of Social Business, I believe that there is a need to study ways to avoid […]

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