Social Media Monitoring

What is Social Media Monitoring?

As organizations expand their presence on social media, digital adversaries are increasingly leveraging social media to execute fraud, scams, and phishing attacks against enterprise targets. ZeroFox estimates that the annual global cost of phishing attacks on social media is $1.2 billion.

Social media monitoring is the enterprise cybersecurity practice of collecting and analyzing content on social and digital channels to detect fraud or phishing attacks against an organization, its brands, executives, employees, and customers. 

Modern SecOps teams use AI-driven Digital Risk Protection (DRP) software to monitor social media channels at scale for specific keywords, phrases, images, or patterns that could indicate a security threat.

Why is Social Media Monitoring Important?

  • Scale of Social Media

Social media platforms host a massive volume of content that makes it difficult for human security and threat intelligence teams to manually detect and identify threats. The public nature of these platforms makes it easy for digital adversaries to identify and make connections with executives, employees, and customers of a targeted enterprise.

  • Inherent Trust in Social Media Platforms

Digital adversaries exploit user trust in social media platforms to identify users from a target organization and build connections with their trusted social groups before targeting users with malicious links or file attachments. This illusion of social trust can cause victims to lower their guard, making them easier to manipulate for digital adversaries.

  • Blind Spots for Enterprise Security Teams

Traditional security tools like antivirus and intrusion detection systems (IDS) allow SecOps teams to detect security risks within the enterprise network, but they provide no visibility of social media risks that can include brand abuse, phishing scams, and executive impersonation attacks. 

This represents a significant blind spot that prevents enterprise security teams from achieving true visibility of their organization’s digital security posture.

What Digital Risks Originate on Social Media?

  • Malicious Links

Digital adversaries frequently use social media to spread malicious links. A malicious link could lead to a malicious domain that will attempt to install malware on the victim’s device. The link could also lead to a phishing website that attempts to manipulate the victim into disclosing their personal information or access credentials to a secure system.

  • Phishing and Spear Phishing Messages

Digital adversaries use social media to target their victims with phishing or spear phishing messages. These messages often use a social engineering technique known as “pretexting” to manipulate victims into disclosing their sensitive data or sending a fraudulent transaction.

  • Impersonation Attacks

Digital adversaries are using social media to launch impersonation attacks against enterprise targets. Adversaries can create social media profiles to impersonate executives of a company, then direct that organization’s employees to send fraudulent transfers or disclose access credentials to secure databases or services.

  • Account Takeover Attacks

An account takeover happens when digital adversaries gain unauthorized access to an organization or individual’s social media profile. After gaining control of the account, the adversary can use it to launch scams or phishing attacks against the target’s social connections.

  • Brand Attacks

Digital adversaries can use social media to impersonate well-known brands, including unauthorized use of the brand’s logos, trademarks, and other collateral to scam the target organization’s employees and customers.

How Does Social Media Monitoring Work?

  1. 1. Defining Protected Assets

The first step in social media monitoring is for enterprise SecOps teams to define the specific brand assets, keywords, phrases, images, hashtags, or identities they wish to protect on social media. This often includes the organization’s name, trademarks, the names of executives, and brand collateral.

  1. 2. Monitoring Social Channels with AI and Automation

Once the enterprise has determined which assets should be protected, AI-driven social media monitoring software is used to collect and analyze content on social platforms at scale for unauthorized use of brand collateral, executive identities, and other protected assets. 

  1. 3. Remediating Social Media Threats

Once a social media threat has been identified, enterprise SecOps teams must deploy countermeasures to remediate the threat. Some social media monitoring software tools offer threat remediation as a service, leveraging relationships with social media content moderation teams to accelerate the takedown of fraudulent social media posts and profiles.

The Benefits of Social Media Monitoring

  • Gain Visibility of Social and Digital Presence

Social media represents a significant blind spot for enterprise security teams, especially as the organization’s digital footprint expands to include more social media profiles and connections. Social media monitoring gives SecOps teams much-needed visibility of their organization’s presence on digital and social channels.

  • Early Detection of Security Threats

Social media monitoring can help enterprise SecOps teams detect threats at an early stage. By monitoring social media platforms for improper usage of protected assets and identities, organizations can identify and remediate social media risks before they escalate and cause significant damage.

  • Accelerate the Incident Response Process

Social media monitoring can also help organizations improve their incident response capabilities. By monitoring social media platforms, organizations can quickly identify and respond to security incidents, such as data breaches or cyber attacks. This can help minimize the impact of the incident and reduce the time it takes to recover from the incident.

  • Preserve Brand Value and Integrity

Incidences of fraud, brand abuse, or executive impersonation on social media can negatively impact the targeted organization’s reputation and brand value. Early detection and remediation of these threats with help from social media monitoring helps enterprises preserve brand value and maintain trust with their customers and communities on social platforms.

Protect Your Organization with ZeroFox Social Media Monitoring

ZeroFox provides enterprises with social media security protection, threat intelligence, and adversary disruption capabilities to identify and disrupt cyber attacks that originate on social media. 

The AI-driven ZeroFox platform monitors social and digital channels at scale to identify and remediate threats to your organization, including brand abuse, phishing campaigns, executive impersonation attacks, and account takeover threats.

Ready to learn more?

Download our Social Media Protection for Dummies eBook to learn more about securing your individual, brand, and corporate social media accounts from attacks.