Would you believe that about two-thirds of the U.S. adult population has a presence on a social media networking platform? Corporate America is part of this statistic, with companies now constantly promoting their social media presence by inviting consumers to like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. Last year was the first year that corporate spending for online and social media marketing actually exceeded spending for print advertising.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise then, that claims professionals and risk managers are increasingly seeing the significance of social media in claims investigations and liability cases. Social media sites have become a digital treasure trove for incriminating photos and online admissions that could actually undermine a claimant’s case. Privacy objections are frequently being brushed aside, with some judges noting a disconnect when posting material on a site whose fundamental purpose is sharing information with the public.
Social networking’s impact on our culture has transformed the legal landscape. In addition to the legal issues that arise, the increasing use of social media sites for business purposes creates a host of challenges for protecting networks and sensitive data, according to Matthew McCormack, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s chief of cybersecurity.
McCormack said that 30% of attacks on social media sites seek out personal data, and another 13% cause monetary loss, while 10% successfully install malware on a computer. Almost half of all employers in the U.S. ban their personnel from accessing social media sites, but this is not an option for businesses that employ social media marketing, nor is banning social media an effective option for all businesses.
McCormack states that young generation “Y” workers expect the same level of technology access at work as they have at home. They collaborate more in the workplace and they spend more time using instant messaging than in face-to-face conversation, he said. So, security professionals need to change their thinking regarding new technologies and applications such as social media. The focus needs to be on securing data and minimizing risk, rather than “banning” social media use amongst employees and hoping for the best.
At PLRisk Advisors, we know that all industries and companies could face the risk of a privacy or network security breach. We provide Privacy & Network Security coverage for all classes of business, with products ranging from Forensics to Cyber Hostage and Reputational Damage coverage. Please contact us today for more information at (855) 403-5982.