Small and midsized businesses are finding they can reap huge benefits from participating in the social media frenzy on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
But, as eCommerce Guide reports, SMBs are alsoplagued by security issues that most of their enterprise brethren have a far easier time resolving.
Researchers said they expect these numbers to continue to grow as more hackers target smaller companies that often lack either the budget or the resources to shore up their data networks compared to their enterprise brethren.
“Social media is now ubiquitous among SMBs because of its many obvious business benefits,” Sean-Paul Correll, a threat researcher at Panda Security, said in the report. “Yet these tools don’t come without serious risks.”
Small and midsized businesses have embraced social media as a means to advertise their products and services and connect with customers, but this affinity for sites like Facebook and Twitter has also put data — their own and their customers’ — at greater risk.
Security software vendor Panda Security’s first annual (available in PDF format) Social Media Risk Index study found that 33 percent of the 315 U.S.-based SMBs surveyed have endured at least one significant malware or virus infection from social networks.
And of that infected group, 35 percent said they’ve suffered some sort of financial loss as a result of the security breach. Facebook was cited at the No. 1 culprit, followed by YouTube and Twitter. One-third of these of breaches cost in excess of $5,000 apiece, according to the report.