The New Truth About Social Account Hacks and Compromises
By Devin Redmond
The recent high profile hacks, compromises, and hijacking of the Twitter accounts of Jeep, Burger King, and HMV respectively, have taught us some interesting new things about social media as a business tool. Namely, that the number of compromises are increasing, as are their repair costs. We are also learning that the advice and insight on preventing these compromises, although well written and correct, isn’t working by itself. We need other solutions.
In 2011, headline compromises included hacks of the Vodafone Egypt and Pfizer Facebook pages as well as the hacks of the Bank of Melbourne, NBC News, Fox News, and USA Today Twitter accounts. We learned that everything from poor administrative access controls to weak passwords to determined hackers caused the breaches, brand damage, and embarrassment. These compromises cost resource dollars in responding, a job or two were most certainly lost, and the less measurable, but still important cost to brand trust was involved.
In 2012, headline compromises included Major League Baseball and at least four teams’ Facebook pages as well as the hacks of the Twitter accounts of Gizmodo and Reuters. We again learned that poor administrative access controls, weak passwords, or determined hackers caused breaches. We also learned that the stakes went up as brands invested more dollars and importance in their social programs in 2012; the related impact of breaches cost them more.