We live in the age of the leaky corporation – one in which the wrong information can easily slip into the wrong hands – be it from external cyber attack or data breach, or from malicious or careless insiders, partners or suppliers.
Some organisations continue to think a good way to minimise the likelihood of data breaches, leaks and losses is to restrict employee access to the internet and/or social media. This may sound sensible, but at what cost to an organisation’s ability to conduct research, share information and communicate externally?
I recently met with the regional communications lead at a major global bank who turned out to be the only person in his company in Asia with access to Twitter. Little surprise that the individual felt highly restricted in what he could achieve online on behalf of his employer.
So it was good to hear business and cyber experts on the HBR podcast argue that cutting internet access is a simplistic, impractical and ineffective solution to the problem of leaky data.
Rather, companies should focus on adopting strong cybersecurity policies, monitoring use of their IT systems and email, and raising awareness about common, insidious threats such as phishing and malware.
Such an approach has the additional benefit of letting communicators get on with the job of managing their employer’s reputation whenever and wherever they need to.