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May 14, 2013 Transcript of #CommsChat on cyber security

Last week, we were joined by now-frequent #Commschat-er Chris Woods, head of digital at Hanover. We discussed the growing threat of cyber security and its potential impact on business. Some topics covered include how hacks are handled internally, what steps are taken to protect a company’s digital assets and the reputational impact of cyber security.

Highlighted tweets:

@chrismwoods Comms pros have high-level access to company/client digital profiles. PRs should protect reputations not cause risk
@chrismwoods Look at what happened when @AP was hacked. Short-term reputational damage to AP & even to Twitter as a platform
@AllthingsIC always – employees are as important as customers. Makes sense to ensure everyone knows how to protect reputation
@PrometricCyber Although that training could come in handy when communicating how an incident happened after the fact as well.
Read the full transcript, with many helpful pointers and links from Chris, below:

  1. Good night all on . Thanks for the tweets. Slightly negative topic so cheers for staying involved!

  2. Thanks for hosting . Not the easiest of topics for , but useful links in there, thank you cc

  3. Any industry connected to the internet can be affected by cyber attack. Esp vulnerable = national infrastructure

  4. a big thanks to for being our guest. and to everyone for taking part

  5. Last Q for : What other industries are impacted by cyber security?

  6. Get well soon Andrew ‘s little person! Good example of where real life more important than Twitter!

  7. Although that training could come in handy when communicating how an incident happened after the fact as well.

  8. as always, the transcript will be up tomorrow.

  9. apologies for large silence there a sick child upstaris called me away id like to say a big thanks to

  10. A: Main thing government can do is to help educate people & businesses of the steps they need to take.

  11. Cyber security is a pressing governmental issue as well. What can the authorities do to limit crisis? for (hello?)

  12. Another recent example of a comms fail when it comes to cyber security

  13. well that investment is certainly important, necessary and good for business I’m sure

  14. what does staff certification look like in reality?

  15. . it’s often the people closest to you rather than some scary milicious hacker in a basement!!

  16. Best to have a plan of attack just in case. Also good to have staff certified to prevent such attacks.

  17. what about the financial investment large companies like Microsoft can make in protecting the data?

  18. Means that we rely on our customers & suppliers to protect against hacks, as much as firms rely on themselves

  19. I’ve captured recent hacks/takeovers via Storify inc Guardian, HMV and Burger King

  20. Good Q . Cloud services prob spread the risk. Servers in more places than one (if they can be isolated) then = good

  21. Take a look at tonight for discussion on cyber security and issues

  22. Hi Rachel, good to see you on i’ve missed the last few

  23. . And people in the UK don’t want a state filtered internet like China. Even if that means more cyber attack risk

  24. do you evaluate potential reputational impacts of poor cyber security

  25. My opionion is that cyber security shouldn’t be up to the state. It’s about personal and professional responsibility

  26. . what are your thoughts on companies using cloud based solutions? Does it help with security?

  27. Tip for keeping employees aware of rules: use real world examples of hacks and solutions. (Via )

  28. A4) I’m not sure how the globalised supply chains is relevant/different stance needed -do you have examples of good/bad approach?

  29. RT : Each corp relationship can add complexity & thus make networks hardr to protect against cyber attack.

  30. Each corporate relationship can add complexity and thus make networks harder to protect against cyber attack.

  31. always – employees are as important as customers. Makes sense to ensure everyone knows how to protect reputation

  32. on subject of international. Is the Chinese approach the right one. Presumably with Green Dam installed, no one can hack?

  33. Also re tip for ensuring comms team know the rules. Keep showing them examples of cyber attacks, then how 2 avoid

  34. Great conversation about going on right now with . What would you say are the best security practices?

  35. MT : Q4) How has cyber security evolved as companies now have globalised supply chains and international stakeholders?

  36. . nice lead into your specialism there. Internal Comms! Not just rules. Too many rules never read.

  37. Topic 4) How has cyber security evolved as companies now have globalised supply chains and international stakeholders?

  38. lets move to the next topic and all those with global audiences.

  39. Curious about the hackers comment – what’s your best advice/tip when it comes to ensuring employees know the rules?

  40. RT : are there any high profile examples of victims? lets not forget hashtags

  41. Malicious hackers, yes. Kids in bedrooms trying to find value from public content / open data, no.

  42. Evening all, sorry to be so late! Note to followers – am now in for next 30 mins. Join in the conversation using >

  43. Best practice re cyber security inc. (5) making sure firewalls and anti-virus software is installed and up-to-date

  44. Best practice re cyber security inc. (4) moving towards two-step authentication e.g.

  45. Best practice re cyber security inc. (3) ensuring mobile devices have keypad locks

  46. . A hacker is not necessarily a malicious hacker. Eg hackers who use open data to shed light on an important story.

  47. We do seem to be way too lenient on hackers, considering the reputational damage potential

  48. to paraphrase Monty Python, hangings too good for them.

  49. I wondered when someone was going to say that. Hopefully no one here will be hacked! More best practice …

  50. then come up with some good examples or comments. we’d love to hear

  51. RT : This is so dull. I wish someone would hack it –> 🙂

  52. If hackers can be traced & prosecuted by law enf. Tho multinational agreements eg could make easier

  53. I recently wrote on the topic of cyber security & reputation, specifically for comms pros here:

  54. This is so dull. I wish someone would hack it

  55. Look at what happened when was hacked. Short-term reputational damage to AP & even to Twitter as a platform.

  56. There’s an opportunity to learn from hackers – like the guy given a job at Facebook

  57. Best practice re cyber security inc. (1) change your computer passwords monthly

  58. Good question, . I’m about to post some best practice. See … give me 1min …

  59. RT : . Yes, , the BBC etc already been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army.

  60. . Yes, , the BBC etc already been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army.

  61. RT : topic 3 What does best practice look like? Can hackers be punished? –> does anyone think they shouldnt be punishd

  62. Is it as simple as refreshing passwords every couple of weeks?

  63. topic 3 What does best practice in cyber security look like? Can hackers be punished?

  64. lets move to topic 3 (possibly come back to topic 2)

  65. Hi & all readers. Sarah here, online PR & social media manager. What would you suggest is best practise?

  66. should we all be afraid od the Syrian Electronic Army

  67. is v hard to disprove. Makes it easy get out.

  68. thanks for sharing example. Yes, most of the time companies seek help after a hack, not prepare for one.

  69. My IP address has been identified as spam on so won’t be able to follow again tonight 🙁

  70. . currently it’s not NGOs who are the threat. Most of the time they play by the rules. It’s the Syrian Electronic Army.

  71. i used to work for security comms comp and orgs came to us after a security incident-reactive rather than proactive

  72. such as oil and gas, fur industry, financial services, and so on

  73. is it mainly going to happen in sectors where there are active NGOs who want to hijack the brand

  74. Has anyone out there faced a cyber attack while in a PR or social media role for a company or client? (Big of you to admit it!)

  75. Hi all, Helen here-i work in the comms industry-currently travelling but will contribute where signal allows!

  76. does this really happen that frequently?

  77. everyday a politician, businessman or celebrity claims twitter/facebook/etc was hacked into and racist tweet wasnt theirs

  78. Evening all, Padraic here from Vodafone Ireland. Looking fwd to the session this evening

  79. and are they causing risk? have we got any good examples?

  80. Comms pros have high-level access to company/client digital profiles. PRs should protect reputations not cause risk

  81. I’m Chris, head of digital . Thanks for having me on this evening.

  82. Hi you have to get the hashtag totally right – its . Welcome.

  83. Going on right now: on the topic of online security

  84. Going on right now: on the topic of online security

  85. Just come across , an interesting concept. Will be following the hashtag for the next hour . Debating cyber security

  86. lets start with topic one: Why is cyber security an important issue for communications professionals?

  87. But please remember, its always polite to introduce yourself first. & with that, Im Andrew, publisher & editor of

  88. Please join in with insightful questions, acerbic wit, or just make the occassional LoLs and IMHOs.

  89. Here to guide us on this issue is Chris Woods, digital director from Hanover.

  90. Lax security on social media and in digital communications can impact an organisation’s reputation.

  91. Cyber security has become a serious issue for everyone from a Facebook account holder to a small business to the armed forces.

  92. Welcome everyone, it’s 8pm, BST. Time for CommsChat.

  93. Go make a cup of coffee, pour a glass of wine, or mix up a chili martini, for CommsChat starts in three minutes.

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