ManSmartphoneTabletLaptop650The average Fortune 100 brand has 320 social media accounts, up 80 percent over the past three years, according to a new study from security-as-a-service provider Proofpoint.

Proofpoint also found that:

  • Fortune 100 brands had more than 4 billion likes, followers, subscribers and plus ones combined on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google Plus as of August.
  • Brand-generated content accounts for less than 7 percent of content contained within those social media channels, but brands can still be held liable for the other 93 percent, including user-generated content and content from partners.
  • Fortune 100 brands use more than 2,000 publishing tools and applications, averaging 13.
  • Only 30 percent of corporate social publishing is conducted through enterprise social publishing and relationship management tools.

Nexgate for Proofpoint vice president and general manager Devin Redmond said in a release introducing the study:

Proofpoint is dedicated to helping our customers understand and protect their social communication infrastructure. Social media channels have quickly grown to rival email as a preferred communications medium. The first step in protecting those channels is understanding that infrastructure and quickly discovering, inventorying and persistently tracking the accounts and tools a company owns. Once that foundation is in place, the necessary step of eliminating security threats and compliance risks becomes possible.

On that note, Proofpoint and Social@Ogilvy, a worldwide practice connecting social media experts, announced the launch of the Social Media Security Council, aimed at enabling marketing, security and compliance professionals to more safely leverage their social media communications.

Initial members of the SMSC include Yahoo and Morgan Stanley.

Redmond said of the SMSC:

The rise in social media infrastructure is staggering — it is irrefutably part of every corporate communication channel mix. One of the key challenges with social is its consumerized nature and that it lives outside of the traditional enterprise infrastructure. Our research indicates that social media has escaped the focus and attention it deserves from key stakeholders. The Social Media Security Council is a key forum for driving cross-functional awareness and sharing guidance for how to protect this powerful new channel.

Yahoo chief information officer and SMSC member Mike Kail added:

We operate in a world in which social media holds great potential but also presents certain challenges. The Social Media Security Council can help businesses navigate these challenges to build and protect their corporate social infrastructure.

And fellow SMSC member Mitchell Bompey of Morgan Stanley said:

The increased use of social media in business presents new challenges for organizations. I joined the Social Media Security Council because it is important to openly discuss social media risk, and to learn from others not just in the financial services industry, but in other business sectors, as well.

Readers: What did you think of Proofpoint’s findings?

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