SASIG warns cyber security profession to meet growing social media threat

The Security Awareness Special Interest Group (SASIG) is calling on cyber security professionals to strengthen procedures surrounding the use of social media. The warning about the growing threat posed by social media to the integrity of data and network security emerged during this week’s conference entitled ‘Cyber Security: The Implications of Social Media’ that was organised by SASIG in conjunction with The University of Surrey.

The audience of cyber security specialists explored the implications of the far-reaching change brought about by social media and how people interact on different platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, WeChat and others, highlighting the consequences of casual Internet surfing and posting.

Martin Smith MBE, founder and chairman of SASIG, informed upwards of 200 delegates that social media networks have become one of the biggest gateways for cyber criminals targeting individuals and businesses to gain access to sensitive information and data networks.

Smith stated: “Social media activity has boomed during the last decade and is now an integral part of communications for commercial and personal users. It creates many challenges for both business and personal use and can expose users to unintended risks.”

He continued: “Social media and Internet users often give up a considerable amount of personal data. However, if such information falls into cyber criminals’ hands, they can easily build a profile that gives them the capability to access sensitive personal and financial information.”

Further, Smith observed: “The new Online Safety Bill could prove to be a vital tool in the challenge to tackle the criminal gangs who target unsuspecting individuals and businesses. We strongly recommend that all organisations should take steps to strengthen their cyber security systems against attacks via social channels. Using a combination of education about threats and introducing stringent protocols can protect against misuse.”

Cyber Security Skills Festival

Career opportunities, skills and resources that protect commerce, industry and public services from cyber attacks will feature at the third annual Cyber Security Skills Festival being organised by SASIG in partnership with the UK Cyber Security Council. The event runs on Tuesday 22 February. 

Established back in 2004, SASIG is a peer networking forum for cyber security professionals who represent hundreds of organisations of all sizes here in the UK and emanate from both the public and private sectors.

SASIG boasts more than 6,000 members including Chief Information Security Officers and other decision-makers and influencers with responsibility for information security, as well as academics and Government agencies.

Annually, SASIG curates more than 150 information webinars and in-person events covering topical cyber security issues impacting business, commerce, Government agencies and other public sector organisations.

*Further information is available online at www.thesasig.com 

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