A new report released by Osterman Research, sponsored by Actiance, GWAVA and Smarsh, tells us that social media is one of the biggest security threats for companies. Malware is increasingly making its way into companies via their employees’ social media accounts. Overall, the report found that only 54% of companies have a written social media policy governing its employee’s use of social media in the workplace. That may not surprise you, but the report also found that 18% of companies have had malware placed on their network through social media, while 25% have had malware enter its network from an unknown origin. The report seems to suggest that the unknown origin is more likely than not a social media website.

What ways can malware enter your network through social media? Well, in ways like a Twitter link shortener (i.e. an online application that converts a regular URL (the web address that starts with http://) into its condensed format) or a fake social media account. Smarsh’s Vice President of Marketing said, “It’s clear that securing the perimeter of social media communications is a critical part of risk management. Organizations need to know how their employees are using social media for business communications to protect both the company and the employee.”

This is not to say that social media is not also beneficial to a company. The report also states that social media leads to faster decision-making capabilities, better customer service, and improved corporate culture. The key to take away from this report: be proactive in your employees’ use of social media and be aware of the threats it may pose so you can get out in front of the malicious hackers.