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Social Media in Workplaces: A Growing Cyber Security Concern for Businesses?

Updated: Nov 5, 2023

Social media is an inseparable part of most of our lives.


And there are no signs of stopping or reducing its usage.


Social media addiction is growing and it's a major concern for businesses.


You heard it right, your workplace might be in danger because of these.


We're going to talk about the effects of social media on businesses.

👉 Why is social media usage increasing in workspaces?


👉 Why are businesses banning its usage on-premises?


👉 Has the ban hammer struck before?

👉 Should it be banned by businesses?

In this article, we're going to answer these questions and give you some food for thought.

Let's begin by understanding the fundamentals behind social media.


Why is social media usage increasing in workspaces?

Social media has encompassed the entire world.


Right from influencers to businesses to politicians and any run-of-the-mill person, everyone uses it.


Some use it to share their life events while others use it to meet new people.


Similarly, there are businesses using it to sell their products too.


And some of them use it to consume the latest occurrences around the world.


The purpose may be drastically different, but most of us are exposed to it.


How many, you ask?


59% of the world uses social media, which accounts for more than half of the world's population. (SOURCE)


It's a major part of most of our lives.


So much so that the average user spends 2 hours and 21 minutes on it DAILY. (SOURCE)


"More than half of the world is hooked to it and the numbers are showing an uptrend in the internet and subsequent social media penetration of users."

It enables us to stay connected with others everywhere and at any time of the day.


Most of these people are individuals working in some or another organization.


So, the workplace seems to be no exception to social media usage.


Considering that most people would spend several hours of their day there.


It's instinctive to keep checking social media from time to time.


However, this could be detrimental to businesses, and we'll learn how.


Why are businesses banning its usage on-premises?

To cut a long story short - cybersecurity concerns.


Many organizations provide a business laptops to their employees.


This ensures data safety and security.


The device is configured specifically keeping IT security in mind.


Most of the websites are blocked, except the ones needed for work.


And it includes social media websites.


However, employees can circumvent this restriction by using VPNs.


And that's where the integrity of the business comes at risk.


Accessing social media on your corporate devices can be a security

concern.


There is a lot of sensitive and critical data that might get leaked.


Even if the apps are regarded as safe to use, social media inherently isn't.


What do we mean?


It's not only the direct data stealing that we need to be scared of.


There are other risks such as -

  • Phishing Attacks through social media links.

  • Computer viruses through those websites.

  • Malware through downloads of media.

  • Social Engineering attacks.

Banning social media in the workplace can mitigate these risks significantly.


The risk is higher for businesses where employees use their personal laptops.


That's because corporate applications or services are vulnerable.


And their protection depends on the individual's device protection and vigilance.


You may be wondering if there are any steps taken to mitigate this.


Yes, and it's a fairly recent and widely known case too.



Has the ban hammer struck before?

The most recent and infamous workplace social media ban came from the European Commission.


Their IT wing asked all the EU executives to uninstall TikTok from their devices.


This included their corporate devices as well as personal devices which had corporate apps.


They cited data security concerns.


It was banned in the USA at the Federal and State level before the above move.


The parent company ByteDance based in China had come under scrutiny.


After they admitted to having access to the personal data of users worldwide.


We won't get into more details, but you can read about it HERE.


"Over the years, many social media platforms have come under the radar for privacy and security concerns, especially for businesses."

So, coming back to our point.


It's a major cybersecurity concern for businesses.


So, let's ask ourselves THE question.


Should it be banned by businesses?


Social media in workplaces is not all negative.


Employees may need it as refreshers during breaks.


Further, businesses being too restrictive may hamper the morale of employees.


It may also reduce applicants applying for roles, citing this rule.


So, what's our final verdict?


It's not our decision to make, we leave it to the individual businesses.


However, it is essential for employees to have a disciplined approach towards social media.


And this can be done through cybersecurity awareness training.


Everyone should understand the extent of risk that social media poses.


They should not use official devices to access it.


And not circumvent the IT security team guidelines and practices.


Everyone is responsible for the cybersecurity of their workplace.


"Understanding the risks social media poses to the cybersecurity of businesses is essential."

------------------------------------------------------

Social media usage will keep on growing exponentially everywhere, including workplaces.


It may or may not be banned in yours.


But, it's critical for employees to follow cybersecurity best practices.


Precautions need to be taken to avoid any disastrous consequences.


You don't want to be the reason that a reel turns into a real disaster for your business.


Use social media responsibly and stay SPECtacular!

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