Fortifying Your Brand – The Essential Guide to Enterprise Social Media Security

In Incident Prevention, Threat & Security Updates by Beth Brady

By: Will Hudec, Director of Security Consulting, Fortress Security Risk Management

In the digital age, the security of corporate social media accounts is not just an IT concern, but a strategic imperative that directly impacts brand reputation, customer trust, and potentially, a company’s bottom line.

Social media platforms, while essential for marketing and customer engagement, are also attractive targets for cybercriminals. A breach can lead to unauthorized posts, resulting in reputational damage, loss of sensitive data, and even financial consequences, as seen in high-profile cases like the SEC X account hack earlier this year.

To mitigate these risks, companies should adopt a comprehensive approach to social media security. This includes the use of strong, unique passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, and limiting account access to a select group of trusted employees. Regular monitoring of account activity can help detect any unusual behavior indicative of a breach.

Furthermore, companies should establish a well-defined social media policy, conduct regular security training for employees, and have an incident response plan in place. The use of dedicated emails for social media accounts and secure connections for account access can provide additional layers of security.

Finally, the use of social media management tools that offer robust security features, such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social, can help streamline the process of securing multiple accounts across different platforms.

In conclusion, securing corporate social media accounts should be a top priority for businesses in today’s interconnected world. By implementing these best practices, companies can protect their digital presence, maintain customer trust, and safeguard their reputation.

Threat Landscape Update

As society becomes more interconnected, a growing concern has emerged regarding the deliberate targeting of social media accounts by threat actors. These malicious entities, ranging from cybercriminals to state-sponsored hackers, recognize the strategic value of infiltrating and manipulating organizations’ online presence. The compromise of social media accounts not only poses a direct threat to data security but also jeopardizes brand reputation, customer trust, and overall organizational stability. Below, you will find recent instances where this occurred:

  • Mandiant X Account (Mandiant’s account on X hacked to push cryptocurrency scam (
    • The Twitter account of American cybersecurity firm and Google subsidiary Mandiant was hijacked on January 3rd to impersonate the Phantom crypto wallet and share a cryptocurrency scam.
    • After getting control, the attacker renamed it to @phantomsolw and promoted a fake website impersonating the Phantom crypto wallet and promising to distribute free $PHNTM tokens as part of an airdrop.
    • The attacker then attempted to drain the targets’ cryptocurrency wallets by having them install a malicious app through the phishing link in the post.
  • SEC X Account (US SEC’s X account hacked to announce fake Bitcoin ETF approval (
    • The X account for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was hacked on January 9th to issue a fake announcement on the approval of Bitcoin ETFs on security exchanges.
    • “Today the SEC grants approval to Bitcoin ETFs for listing on registered national security exchanges,” read the fake X post.
    • The news quickly spread, with many cryptocurrency and mainstream news sites covering the story and Bitcoin prices briefly spiking.
    • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission confirmed today that its X account was hacked through a SIM-swapping attack on the cell phone number associated with the account.
  • The Associated Press Twitter Hack (2013) (AP Twitter Account Hacked in Market-Moving Attack – Bloomberg)
    • In April 2013, the Twitter account of The Associated Press (AP) was hacked after a phishing attack.
    • The attackers posted a false tweet claiming that there had been two explosions at the White House and that the President was injured.
    • This tweet caused a temporary stock market dip, wiping out $136 billion in equity market value.
    • The AP quickly regained control and clarified the situation, but the incident highlighted the potential for significant real-world consequences from social media account breaches.

Social Media Account Security Best Practices

Securing corporate social media accounts is crucial to protect the company’s reputation, customer trust, and sensitive information. Here are some best practices for securing these accounts against attacks or compromise:

  • Strong Passwords: Use complex passwords that include a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using easily guessable information like company name or “password.”
  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Enable 2FA for an additional layer of security. This requires a second form of verification, such as a text message or an authentication app, to access the account.
  • Dedicated Email: Use a dedicated email address for social media accounts that is not used for other purposes and is not publicly known.
  • Limited Access: Only grant access to the social media accounts to a select group of trusted employees. Use roles and permissions features to limit what each user can do within the account.
  • Regular Monitoring: Regularly monitor the accounts for unusual activity. This includes checking for unauthorized posts, messages, or changes to the account details.
  • Security Training: Train all employees with access to social media accounts on security best practices and how to recognize phishing attempts and other social engineering attacks.
  • Social Media Policy: Establish a corporate social media policy that outlines acceptable use, who can post, and the process for responding to security incidents.
  • Update and Patch: Ensure that any software used for social media management is kept up to date with the latest security patches and updates.
  • *Revoke Access: When an employee with access to the social media accounts leaves the company, immediately revoke their access.
  • Use of Secure Connections: Always access social media accounts from secure connections. Avoid public Wi-Fi and consider using VPNs.
  • Incident Response Plan: Have an incident response plan in place that includes steps to take if a social media account is compromised.
  • Regular Password Changes: Change passwords regularly, and especially after any suspicion of unusual activity.
  • Verification: Verify the account with the social media platform, if possible, as this can add credibility and sometimes provides additional security features.
  • Backup Contacts: Keep a backup list of contacts and account recovery information in a secure location.
  • Audit Trails: Use social media management tools that provide audit trails to track who posts what content.

By implementing these best practices, companies can significantly reduce the risk of their social media accounts being compromised.


Social Media Management Tools

Social media management tools can help provide security controls and audit capabilities to further help protect corporate social media accounts. Below you will find some examples and features that are focused on keeping these accounts secure. (Note – Fortress does not advocate or formally endorse these platforms)

When choosing a social media management tool, consider the specific needs of your organization, including the number of accounts you need to manage, the size of your team, and your specific security requirements. It’s also a good practice to take advantage of free trials to test out the features and ensure they meet your expectations before committing to a subscription.

  • Hootsuite: Offers comprehensive monitoring across multiple social media platforms and includes features like secure logins, permission levels, and the ability to approve posts before they go live.
  • Sprout Social: Provides strong security measures, including custom user roles and permissions, audit trails, and secure profile management.
  • Buffer: Known for its ease of use, Buffer also offers features like two-factor authentication and the ability to easily add or remove team members.
  • Agorapulse: Includes a unified social inbox for monitoring messages and comments, as well as features for team collaboration and access control.
  • Sendible: Offers custom workflows for team members, which can help with securing the approval process for content, and also includes two-factor authentication.
  • CoSchedule: Alongside its scheduling and marketing calendar functionalities, CoSchedule provides team management features to control access and permissions.
  • Oktopost: Designed for B2B companies, Oktopost focuses on lead generation and includes features for securely managing and monitoring social media activity
  • Crowdfire: A simpler tool that’s good for smaller businesses, Crowdfire still includes security features like access controls and secure posting.
  • Zoho Social: Part of the Zoho suite of business tools, Zoho Social includes role-based access, two-factor authentication, and activity logs.
  • 1SocialPilot: Offers features like social media calendar, bulk scheduling, and team collaboration, with security measures such as access control and secure login.

About Fortress Security Risk Management: 
Fortress Security Risk Management protects companies from the financial, operational, and emotional trauma of cybercrime by enhancing the performance of their people, processes, and technology.  

Offering a robust, co-managed solution to enhance an internal IT team’s capability and capacity, Fortress Security Risk Management features a full suite of managed security services (24/7/365 U.S. based monitoring, cyber hygiene (managed patching),  endpoint detection and response (EDR), and air-gapped and immutable cloud backups) plus specialized services like Cybersecurity-as-a-Service, Incident Response including disaster recovery & remediation, M&A cyber due diligence, GRC advisory, identity & access management, threat intelligence, vulnerability assessments, and technical testing. With headquarters in Cleveland, Fortress supports companies with both domestic and international operations. 

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