Got a Social Media Security Problem? CSO’s Have to Focus on Recruiting Specially-Trained Personnel to “Read the Tea Leaves” of Social Media Cybersecurity


The battlefield of corporate security has extended far beyond firewalls and anti-virus software. It’s now moved into the realm of social media, where a simple post can be destructive. Decades ago, many corporations struggled to understand the gravity of cyber threats. This led to boardroom shakeups and company downfalls. While there is more protection now, corporations are still facing another cyber security concern by way of social media manipulation and online attacks. 

There are foreign and domestic antagonists taking advantage of the vulnerabilities of public opinion.  Subsequently, tarnishing company brands and their employees online. It’s not merely a PR problem as it’s also a security issue that necessitates a collaboration. The Chief Security Officers (CSOs) and marketing heads at today’s corporations are in a unique position to neutralize cyber threats. Understanding what these threats are is crucial for modern companies to protect many aspects of their organizations.

Paul Goldenberg is the Chief Advisor for Policy and International Policing at the Rutgers University Miller Center on Policing and Community Resilience.  An expert in the field of corporate security, Goldenberg has spent decades studying technology and global threats. Regarding social media and security, he offers tips to businesses and governments alike looking to navigate modern-day security challenges. Speaking recently at a GSX event, he dissects where the evolution of cybersecurity has fallen short, and implored CSOs to reassess their security plans to combat online attacks.

Goldenberg’s Thoughts on Online Attacks

The Evolution of Cybersecurity

“They didn’t quite understand what the impact of cyber attacks would be against their companies. It took us, nearly twenty years and the down four of board rooms, the downfall of chief executive officers, and in some cases, even the downfall of companies themselves to understand that they were not doing what they needed to do to protect their clients, their systems.”

The Current Challenge: Social Media Threats

“We’re in the same place today with social media. Around the world, there are adversaries in foreign countries. There are extremists. There are people who are anti corporation, anti capitalists that wanna do harm to corporations. They wanna do harm. Not only corporations of governments themselves. They’re using social media for for the purposes of, sending misinformation and disinformation, about these corporations impacts not only the company’s well-being, but potentially could impact the employees themselves.”

The Role of Chief Security Officers and Consultation

“So really the takeaway is for the chief security officers and others in the business this, they need to understand to read the tea leaves. They have to have people that are specially trained or they have to rely on outside consultation that will provide them with an understanding of what is being set out there in in the social media realm. There are some very bad adversaries that are hoping to do some very bad things, and they’re no longer doing it to their physical infrastructure, but they’re doing it to their brand. They’re attacking in some cases employees of the company.”

The Need for a Holistic Approach

“They’re attacking in some cases the executives of the company. And unless we understand now, we’re almost in the same place we were as twenty five years ago with cyber security. We need to have a conversion of the branding, those that are responsible for marketing, those who are responsible for physical security, to come together and address the hostile social media attacks these companies are facing.”

Article written by Alexandra Simon.

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