Infosec & Online Reputation Management’s Role In Your Brands Value
A strong business reputation is essential in today’s marketplace. It is a substantial factor that differentiates a competitor from each other. As such, business and corporate reputation are capital, with recent studies showing that at least half of a company’s market value can be directly attributed to its reputation. Information Security audits showcase that brands are more vulnerable now than ever and are at high risk of depleting their brand’s value and reputation online and offline due to cyber security breaches. Case and Point – Equifax.
Controlling a corporate identity’s online reputation is associated with several benefits. Some of these benefits include:
Improved customer engagement. Clients are very quick to voice their grievances on social media and tend to be quiet if they experience a positive experience with a business organization. Unfortunately, you can easily lose the potential of your business by losing the trust that you have with your customers if you allow false information to disseminate online platforms.
Increasing profits. Building on the importance of accurate and beneficial online reviews, businesses with a viable online presence that has been augmented with positive online reviews attract more business. It piques the interest of potential customers and builds upon brand loyalty with repeat clients. Now it’s more important than ever before to have substantial, relevant reviews since they are closely related to your online reputation.
Better reputation, better employees. Not only does controlling and monitoring a corporate identity’s online reputation be beneficial when it comes to building trust with customers, but it also attracts venerable employees. Online reviews are equally as important for attracting employees — so much so that only one in five job seekers would consider working for a company that has been marred with one-star ratings. Potential employees want to work in a company that is going places, understand the social capital of reputation management, and is keen to share core values and beliefs that have not been muddied by inaccurate information, scandals, or incredulous actions.
Unfortunately, not enough corporate identities and their companies understand the role and value of reputation management and its relation to information security.
What Happens When Reputation Management Goes Wrong
This is the reality: if there is an online business associated with you, then your reputation is already in question. The majority of consumers now look at online reviews and opinion pieces before they buy services or products from a company. You have the potential to gain – or lose – that majority based on what consumers can find. If they find a security breach then your level of trust is already broken and sites like ScamAdviser.com will have a warning rating for your business.
On Google for example; a person who wants information on a particular business or product will do an online search. If they aren’t able to find the positive information online, then you risk having negative reviews build upon themselves. This can eventually lead to negative reviews and false information ranking at the top of the search results page, with poison words like “scam” being associated with auto-complete terms that are related to your business or corporate identity.
On social media, an unmanaged reputation can have issues further compounded. With over 2 billion users across all major social media networks, there is a good chance that a person is talking about you or executives associated with your business. If you do not participate in this conversation, there is no one to respond to negative comments or build upon positive comments or answer questions that individuals might have.
The Role of Information Security
Information security — also called InfoSec — refers to processes designed to protect sensitive business information. It’s an augmented form of reputation management that involves modification, destruction, disruption, and inspection of sensitive information.
There are several key differences between InfoSec and other forms of reputation management. InfoSec is a crucial part of cybersecurity, focusing exclusively on the processes designed for data security. While reputation management is important, InfoSec takes it a step further by making sure that cloud security is enhanced, data pertaining to corporate identities are properly encrypted, and internal and extranet networks are secured.
InfoSec places a spotlight on the role of vulnerability management. This is a form of preventative steps that will scan online environments for weak points such as unpatched software or weak passwords, prioritizing remediation based on risk. For many typical businesses, they are constantly adding applications, users, and building upon their current infrastructure. Over time, vulnerability points may develop. InfoSec will find these vulnerabilities before they become issues, saving your business from the costs of a breach, and ensuring that sensitive information that can be used by incredulous characters, including your competitors, is out of reach.
Executives Using InfoSec As Competitive Advantage
Thanks to digital transformations, organizations and businesses are more agile and flexible, allowing them to be more customer-oriented. However, this augmented access to customer information comes in equal measure of increased vulnerability for executives and corporate identities. There has to be a fundamental shift in management philosophy about the role that information security plays across organizations. The initiated, savvy executive has shifted from a defensive to an offensive approach when it comes to the role of data as a competitive tool.
The heuristic approach to online security includes keeping tabs of paper documents, intellectual property, personal information, and financial details. The main goal is to keep outsiders away from this sensitive data. Breach of data can stem from disgruntled employees, online vulnerabilities, or hackers. Once this data has been breached, corporate identities lose the social equity they’ve gained with corporate sponsors, investors, and customers.
In 2019 alone we’ve already seen high-profile data breaches, exploits, and backdoor hacks that have compromised the private information of millions of users. Nine months in, 2019 has been rattled with several cybersecurity creases. While data breaches are not new, federal agencies have noticed an up stick.
In May 2019, hackers installed surveillance technology on the phones of WhatsApp users. Sophisticated hacks were carried out, affecting iPhone users who interacted with malicious websites. The attack especially affected Uighur Muslims in China, with studies showing that it was a state-backed effort by the country to monitor Uighur Muslims.
These data breaches have also affected whole federal agencies and departments. A government technology contractor in Virginia was hacked, with information that was hosted on private systems sold on the dark web. Unfortunately, the sting of that data breach is still being felt since the extent of the damage wasn’t immediately clear.
By taking a proactive approach with the help of InfoSec, executives and corporate identities can help shield incredulous characters from sensitive information that can be used to compromise a company’s trust with their clients, or used to gain a competitive edge over opponents.
Infosec & Online Reputation Management
Reputationmanagement.co couples Infotech with reputation management. It sifts through the Internet to find negative content. We will then mitigate the issue by removing or burying negative content by promoting positive, accurate content. The content will then be monitored to ensure success, building brand insulation that will mitigate false or negative content.
Our services is more than simply deleting or approaching negative reviews — we intentionally use content creation and placement that can help achieve several marketing goals related to reputation management. These services include changing autocomplete terms on major search engines, and changing autocomplete suggestions to make new products or services visible, while actively deploying a team to help with brand management to maintain viable reputations. Together, we help to restore the reputation of businesses, corporations, and corporate identities. To learn more, contact us.