A recent news story shows the dangers companies face from Facebook and other social networking sites.
The latest high-profile victim of social networking fraud: Interpol secretary general Ronald K. Noble.
At a recent security conference in Hong Kong, Noble revealed that criminals had set up two different Facebook profiles in his name.
One of the impersonators used the profile to intercept information regarding a recent initiative to track down international fugitives, Noble said.
The online impostors didn’t have to do any expert hacking to carry out their plan. In fact, Noble said the ease with which his online identity was stolen should serve as a warning about the threat of cybercrime.
And, according to a recent survey, many businesses are learning the lesson first-hand.
Many small and midsize businesses (SMBs) have been victimized by security threats related to Facebook and similar sites, according to a recent survey of IT staff at 315 SMBs by Panda Security.
One-third have had their networks infected by malware that spread through social networks. Also, users had mistakenly leaked sensitive data on social networks at 23% of the companies surveyed.
In addition to security threats, 38% of respondents reported productivity problems related to social networks, while 18% said visits to those sites created a noticeable drain on network resources.
The good news: 64% of companies have started training users on safely using social networking sites.
Most experts recommend against banning or blocking those sites outright. That can create resentment among users and cause businesses to miss out on the benefits social networks can provide in terms of marketing and customer relations.
But enforcing policies on correct use and educating users of the dangers of social networking sites can go a long way toward protecting your companies network and data.