Can your business be WikiLeaks proof?

Forbes magazine just published a scoop interview with Julian Assange, of WikiLeaks fame, where he identifies that his next focus, for what he describes as “Megaleaks”, will be big business. WikiLeaks is no stranger to exposing corporate wrong doing and Julian Assange justifies this when he says: “WikiLeaks means it’s easier to run a good business and harder to run a bad business and all CEO’s should be encouraged by this.”

In today’s interconnected world of increased social networking, democracy of information is becoming the new standard. As a result, the concept of trust and brand becomes even more critical to a company’s reputation. From discussions with our clients, one major problem area that we have identified is that social media is not being integrated as a unified element into their overall business structure and strategy. For this to occur it is imperative that employees see a congruency between internal dialogues, external messages and actions taken. Without this congruency, the possibility for misalignment of intent, message and action increases.

If C suite executives have up until now been concerned about the impact of social media and the potentially negative messages that are being broadcast about their business, WikiLeaks has just upped the ante on the game with its latest disclosures!

With the media driven awareness of secure and anonymous WikiLeaks’ online drop boxes and of an organisation committed to investigating and exposing unethical, dishonest or inconsistent actions, the opportunity for disgruntled whistleblowing employees to ensure democracy of information just exploded exponentially.

In reality, no organisation is WikiLeaks proof, despite the best promises of IT and cyber security companies. Today more openly accessible data is being generated within organisations, so that it has become virtually impossible to effectively contain and secure all of it. The best possible line of defence here is to maintain consistently open and ethical behaviour. CEO’s and boards should give serious consideration to their company’s digital footprint in terms of how it would affect their family and friends if its behaviours were to become public knowledge tomorrow… and they will!

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