Case: Understanding Social Media Threats

Client Challenge

Social media applications are a powerful tool for conveying a personal or professional brand. However, once information is shared online, it can take on a life of its own leading to potential risks to reputation, brand, intellectual property, confidential information, physical security, and business. A high-level executive approached Banyan for guidance on how to maximize the benefits of social media publicity while minimizing exposure to various risks inherent in sharing information online.

Banyan provided a comprehensive analysis of the executive’s current social media presence in order to identify online threats and vulnerabilities in the social media accounts. An examination of the executive’s daily routines and interactions with the public allowed us to categorize his greatest online threats: for example, obsessive individuals, opportunistic home invaders, identity thieves or business competitors, among others. Once we had mapped the threat landscape, we probed the executive’s social media accounts to detect vulnerabilities to each kind of threat.

Banyan Solution

Client Impact

The client heeded our recommendations for minimizing risk exposure on his personal (private) and professional (public) social media accounts. He shared our recommendations with his inner circle of key executives and personal contacts to ensure their accounts did not create vulnerabilities for either the executive or the company. A thorough threat and vulnerability assessment provides the foundation for effective ongoing threat monitoring, allowing the client to mitigate risks before they become a problem and should be a key ingredient of corporate security organizations' efforts to develop key senior executives’ risk profiles.