Reputational damage always follows a major cyber crime hack. It was only a matter of time before we saw the real fall out from the recent Sony hacking
offensive, in terms of the damage to personal reputations (and possibly still the business’s reputation). Today is the start, with Amy Pascal feeling she should resign. It has always been my view that Barclays Bank Libor emails cost the bank and its management team more in reputational damage than the actual fine. They slipped out of the top 100 most trusted companies. Had the press not found those damaging emails, they would not have been the focus of such media attention. After all many other banks were in a similar position.
An unprecedented hack as happened to Sony will be forgiven, but not the vitriolic emails which show the company management culture is such disarray.
The moral is of course to think, think and think again before hitting send. Ask yourself. ‘what if a hacker found this email’. If you really cannot manage your impulsive behaviour then the solution is slow email and set a rule to delay sending all your email by a few minutes to allow for cooling off.
How well are you managing to reduce the risk to you and your business becoming the stars of the next email-gate media disaster? Contact us now to hear how we have helped other organisations protect their professional image by more effective email management.
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.
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