When a villain openly attacks, it’s highly unlikely that rescue will arrive at that moment of desperate need–and that includes a rescue by our Super Prez Barack Obama.
As I write, a computer virus is building a head of steam that promises to hit many businesses–and they may never see it coming. Almost all companies run anti-virus software to prevent their networks from being “hacked”. Today, the eyes of the IT world are glued on global computer networks, waiting to see what effect the Conficker virus will have on up to 15 million computers that may have been infected since last autumn. Conficker finds vulnerable computers and automatically disables security services and blocks access to anti-virus websites. This is one bad worm. I define this as cyber-terrorism, would you agree?
Now, what about cyber-terrorism that defines itself as identifying vulnerable websites and disabling their ability to effectively market through ecommerce? How could this happen? Simply.
Online corporate reputation may be the most vulnerable point of impact that companies face today. While almost all businesses connected to the Internet are vigilant about anti-virus software updates, analytics and impressions, few consider what can be done to damage a corporate reputation by ensuring that routine online search results return negative, slanderous and in some cases even libelous results.
It is estimated by industry insiders that by the end of 2010, criminals will routinely use the Internet to actually extort payments from companies. Nonpayment could result in a type of cyber-terrorism that few have considered. Alright, alright, you say. This is a far-fetched idea, a kind of doomsday scenario. The question for consideration is this: If you knew it was coming, what–if anything–would you do about it?
There is one simple answer. Get a firm grip on your company’s online reputation. Persistent monitoring and intervention is the only current solution that I am aware of. The best way to counteract negative postings is to do it with positive information that has greater credibility. Consistently scanning and evaluating for online reputation attacks is the proactive approach of defense.
Absent Homeland Security, we common people cannot look to SuperPrez for our solution. We must protect and defend ourselves in the real world. There is no bailout or rescue for this type of crisis.
–Steven Wyer, Reputation Advocate