BEWARE: A Look into the Connection Between Social Media and Malware Attacks
Now days, almost all businesses some way or the other are connected to social networking platforms like twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc. for popularization and other purposes. But according to experts, the social media along with its vast uses brings increasing threats of malware infections. Although companies are increasing their security systems, still survey shows that the process is in its early stage of development. Here we shall discuss the various causes and consequences of malware attacks as a result of social media usage based on a survey.
Sufferers of Malware Attacks
Ponemon Institute conducted a survey which showed that a large number of companies are suffering from malware attacks because of the fact that they used social media in their business. 54% stated that their company were about to lose some confidential information because of the social networking activities of their employees. 52% of the companies said that their use of social media resulted in increased malware attacks. But it is still unclear whether the malware attacks were caused due to social networking activity of an individual employee.
How Malware Can Spread
Since a prolonged period of time, social media platforms like Facebook, twitter have been used by spammers and attackers as a base to hit their targets. A common method was used by them for several users targeted only to the users of twitter. In the service rules shortened urls were placed, which when clicked, lead the users to malicious websites or webpages. The destination where the URL will actually hit is unclear to the user until the damage is done.
Same technique is used by spammers to direct users to fake companies selling pharmaceutical products or sometimes even porn based websites. Same sort of activity is practiced as well in Facebook. The survey, conducted in 12 countries among more than 4000 people, showed that different enterprises follow different security protocols to prevent these malware attacks.
Why Malware is Caused
In some ways the companies are responsible for the malware attacks. Let’s see the reasons. First of all many companies lack the rules that restrict employees from using social media in their office. Some are even unsure that such a policy exists. Use of social media in workplace also causes lack of productivity and reduced performance by the employee.
Employees use social media for both business and non-business purposes. Many use this only for non-business purposes which ultimately results in lack of confidential information of the company or a malware attack.
Still, although the malware attacks are increasing day by day, the survey showed that among all the US based organizations, only 32% have strict rule regarding the use of social media by their employees while in the workplace. Contrasting to that, in Germany, the number of companies is 60% and in Italy, it is 22%. Among 50% of all the companies stated in the survey that social media is essential in meeting the goals of their business. 67% of the companies in US and 80% in UK agreed to that.