Brands Beginning to Worry About Social Media Security

The world of social media received a rousing chuckle last week when “news” broke that McDonalds had acquired Burger King.

Burger King, of course, wasn’t laughing. And neither were security analysts who believe that hacking is becoming so frequent and severe that more must be done to prevent an exodus from social media by brand titans that don’t want to tolerate that risk.

“I think Twitter needs to step up its game in providing better security,” Ian Schafer, the founder and chief executive of digital advertising company Deep Focus, tells The New York Times.

Schafer recently told his staff that social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest “and anyone else serious about having brands on their platform” need to “invest time in better understanding how brands operate day to day.”

Beyond Burger King, Jeep, NBC News, USA Today, Donald Trump, and others have been successfully hacked in recent months.

Those episodes raised questions about the security of social media passwords and the ease of gaining access to brand-name accounts. Logging on to Twitter is the same process for a company as for a consumer, requiring just a user name and one password.

Calls are now widespread and deafening for social networks to provide leading brands with additional layers of security than those provided to a typical user – a typical user that doesn’t face the constant high-stakes threat of hacking.

“Twitter and other social media accounts are like catnip for script kiddies, hacktivists and serious cybercriminals alike,” says Mark Risher, chief executive at Impermium. “Because of their deliberately easy access and liberal content policies, accounts on these networks prove irresistibly tempting.”

So, what will social networks like Twitter do to solve the problem? For now, the ball is clearly in their court. And the pressure is definitely on.