Fortune 100 Social Media Accounts are Compromised Every Business Day, Proofpoint Research Reveals

First in-depth Fortune 100 social media analysis uncovers severe threats to corporations and consumers

SUNNYVALE, Calif., – December 10, 2014 – Proofpoint, Inc., (NASDAQ: PFPT), a leading security-as-a-service provider, today released the first social media security study that exposes the severe and different types of security threats plaguing Fortune 100 social media accounts.

“Increasingly, the Fortune 100 are losing money, having their audiences attacked, and experiencing brand damage on their own social media presences,” said Devin Redmond, vice president and general manager of Nexgate for Proofpoint. “Company-affiliated social pages, profiles and accounts are the next big attack surfaces for fraud, phishing, hacking and data theft. Threats to corporate social media accounts and programs have not received the appropriate level of attention—much of that is due to the lack of understanding regarding the scope and types of security threats.”

Today’s Proofpoint report is the first definitive look at the taxonomy and types of social media security threats as well as their scope. Social media threats can be as damaging and costly to a brand as other corporate network compromises, digital fraud, malicious email scams and phishes. It is imperative that social media professionals and IT security teams understand these threat types and incorporate security in their social media strategies.

Key findings from “The State of Social Media Infrastructure 2014, Part 2: Security Threats to the Social Infrastructure of the Fortune 100” include:

  • There are three main categories of security threats including unauthorized accounts, social account compromises, and harmful content.
  • On average, two out of five (40%) Facebook accounts claiming to represent a Fortune 100 brand are unauthorized.
  • On average, one out of five (20%) Twitter accounts claiming to represent a Fortune 100 brand are similarly unauthorized.
  • In aggregate, Fortune 100 brands are experiencing at least one compromise per business day on their social media channels.
  • Social media spam grew sevenfold since mid-2013 when the previous “State of Social Media Spam” report was released.

Proofpoint analysis shows that the Fortune 100 are a prime example of the tug-of-war between the widespread adoption of new social communications and the widely unresolved security threats to social media infrastructure. To uncover social media threat trends, Proofpoint conducted in-depth threat analysis on the social media presence of all Fortune 100 firms for the 12-month period extending from July 2013 to June 2014. Proofpoint's three-part State of Social Media Infrastructure report is based on data gathered in conjunction and partnership with the social networks using the SocialDiscover™ technology from Proofpoint’s Nexgate division.

To download a copy of Proofpoint's State of Social Media Infrastructure report, please For more details on resources on how to discover and inventory social accounts, please visit

About Proofpoint, Inc.
Proofpoint Inc. (NASDAQ:PFPT) is a leading security-as-a-service provider that focuses on cloud-based solutions for threat protection, compliance, archiving & governance, and secure communications. Organizations around the world depend on Proofpoint’s expertise, patented technologies and on-demand delivery system to protect against phishing, malware and spam, safeguard privacy, encrypt sensitive information, and archive and govern messages and critical enterprise information. More information is available at

Proofpoint is a registered trademark of Proofpoint, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

Patricia Hogan
Proofpoint, Inc.