'Smugging' and Its Effect on Corporations

By: Absolute Team | 10/25/2011

Research from Capital One done for the National Identity Fraud Prevention week shows that 60 million social networking profiles have been subject to unauthorized access in the last year. Capital One has labeled this as 'smugging' - social media mugging.

Facebook led the way with incidents of smugging, with Twitter and LinkedIn having fewer incidents. Although the only work-related consequences surveyed were "getting in trouble" and being "passed over for promotion", smugging should be considered a much higher threat, particularly in the corporate environment.

Corporations should consider the following repercussions of smugging:

  • Password safety - if employees use the same password for their social media access as for corporate use, the network could be compromised
  • Proprietary or confidential information - employees may be letting sensitive information 'slip' within the 'confidential' circle of their friends online
  • Repuation - as above, employees may let slip some damaging comments about the corporation, clients, customers or partners
  • Social engineering - social engineering attacks pose direct network security risks

A strong set of polices and processes should be developed for social media / social networking. Some great advice can be found here.

Financial Services