Learning to Live with Social Networks: Risks and Rewards

On-line social networking changed how organizations interact with their customers and how individuals communicate with each other. It also introduced a number of risks that concern organizations and individuals who participate in social networking.

I put together a presentation that explores key risks associated with on-line social networking. It also discusses how policies and technologies can aid at mitigating these risks.

You’re welcome to download my Learning to Live with Social Networks: Risks and Rewards slides with full speaker notes as a PDF file. You can also view the content in HTML form.

The presentation incorporates some of the thoughts on social networking that I’ve been sharing on this blog. It includes lots of examples and also emphasizes the need to understand how people use social networking sites and what motivates them to do so. It’s hard to discuss with colleagues ways of securing social network interactions if you don’t know much about Facebook or Twitter. It’s hard to protect your company’s social media marketing activities if you don’t know how the company is trying to engage consumers through this medium and why.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Update 1: Megan Ruwe posted an excellent overview of the legal risks that employers face when employees use social networking. She also describes the caution that employers need to observe when researching current and prospective employee’s social networking activities.

Update 2: Alexis Madrigal wrote an article that describes how debt collectors are using Facebook to track down and get in touch with debtors.

Update 3: If you’re not sure how to deal with social network impersonation problems, see my note about Brandjacking and Social Networks.

Lenny Zeltser


About the Author

Lenny Zeltser develops products and programs that use security to achieve business results. He is the CISO at Axonius and Faculty Fellow at SANS Institute. Lenny has been leading efforts to establish resilient security practices and solve hard security problems for over two decades. A respected author and practitioner, he has been advancing tradecraft and contributing to the community. His insights build upon real-world experience, a Computer Science degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA degree from MIT Sloan.

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