Sony hacking saga – lessons to learn

Friday December 19th, 2014, 5:43 pm


Email etiquette for reputation and brand preservation

What can we learn from the Sony hacking 2014 saga? First and foremost no one is immune from cyber crime, regardless of the technology you put in place.  Second is just how nasty, vengeful and determined are today’s hackers.  Third, nothing is confidential once committed to email.

It is not just the scale of the attack (possibly costing Sony up to $200M) and the stealing of corporate confidential data which should be ringing alarm bells.

It is all the in-fighting and bickering which the leaked emails disclosed which should be raising the fire alarm in every CEOs ears (regardless of the business’s size and sector).

Why is that email seduces us into committing vituperative words to the archives?  We would never put them down on pen and paper and if we did they would most probably be shredded before they were ever sent.

Perhaps one reason is the 24 x 7 x 365 world in which we live and the feeling that we must either respond and say what’s on our mind regardless of what might happen to these words. Equally email does not have the tactile sense of permanency of paper.  Although that might change now with such a high profile hacking incident.

What lessons can lesser mortals and smaller businesses learn from such a malicious attack?  From the email perspective here are my key learning points.

  1. Adopt quiet and slow email in 2015.
  2. Before hitting send ask yourself what if hackers found this email?
  3. Build in a cooling off period before sending emails which contain controversial content.
  4. Encrypt emails which contain controversial and/or confidential information.
  5. Train members of your organisation in business email etiquette best practice to reduce leaking sensitive and potentially damaging information.

We have helped many clients prevent emails wars.  For a free consultation on how we can help you and your organisation reduce the risk of damaging your brand and professional reputation please contact us by email or phone us now.


For more time saving tips and hints why not buy a copy of one of our books or let us run a Smart Email Management workshop for you and your colleagues.
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