30 January 2011

Crisis Management: ORM & Public Relations Convergence...

Operational Risk Management Executives will be tuning into CBS 60 Minutes Sunday night. If you are a Bank of America stakeholder and your stock dropped 3% on November 30, 2010 because of a WikiLeaks document release, this episode should be on your mind:

(Reuters) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he enjoys making banks squirm thinking they might be the next targets of his website which has published U.S. diplomatic and military secrets.

"I think it's great. We have all these banks squirming, thinking maybe it's them," Assange told the CBS television program "60 Minutes" in an interview.

CBS released a partial transcript on Friday ahead of Sunday's broadcast of the full segment.

Bank of America Corp shares fell more than 3 percent on November 30 on investor fears that the largest U.S. bank by assets would be the subject of a document release.

Interviewer Steve Kroft asked Assange whether he had acquired a five-gigabyte hard drive belonging to one of the bank's executives, as Assange had previously asserted.

"I won't make any comment in relation to that upcoming publication," said Assange, who is under a form of modified house arrest in England, awaiting an extradition hearing to Sweden for questioning over alleged sex offences that he denies.

WikiLeaks will not be the last whistleblower web site to provide the dirty laundry on what a government agency or public company may or may not be doing as it does it's daily business. The CBS or TMZ media mechanisms remain the outlet for an information economy that fuels the behaviors of modern day paparazzi or contributors to WikiLeaks and it's future competitors.

What are Operational Risk Managers thinking about when these loss events happen? Another lost or stolen laptop by one of the thousands of corporate executives is now a major incident, not one to be taken lightly, perhaps as it has in years past. This is also why these same managers are working in a diligent strategy to emphasize the use of products that will encrypt the whole hard drive on the mobile systems that are being toted around in taxi cabs and on airplanes. The thought of a loss of these tools will be less of an issue as these programs are implemented and every bit of every data on these mobile devices is now encrypted.

The External Affairs, Public Relations and Corporate Communications strategy for a Fortune 500 company is extensive. With Social Media becoming a major component of the Web 2.0 integration and the booming number of PDA's, iPhones and other mobile devices, "Crisis Management" and "Operational Risk" will continue to be two disciplines that need each other more than ever.

Bank of America will survive just as others have before it once the information is released and people have a chance to determine how damaging it could be or not worth the hype to pay attention to it. What will perpetuate beyond the latest PR crisis is the fact that the speed of data, videos, Tweets and Blogs continues to pile up on the hard disks, Jump Drives, IronKeys and servers in "The Enterprise Cloud." How you manage it, secure it and dispose of data is an Operational Risk that will not diminish any time soon.

Who has seen the light when it comes to the utilization of Cloud Computing, and effective document encryption in transit with embedded information security compliance standards? Uncle Sam for one.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. General Services Administration announced today that federal, state, local, and tribal governments will soon have access to cloud-based Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings through the government’s cloud-based services storefront, Apps.gov. GSA’s IaaS contract award allows vendors to provide government entities with cloud storage, virtual machines, and Web hosting services to support a continued expansion of governments’ IT capabilities into cloud computing environments.

“Offering IaaS on Apps.gov makes sense for the federal government and for the American people. Cloud computing services help to deliver on this Administration’s commitment to provide better value for the American taxpayer by making government more efficient,” said federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra. “Cloud solutions not only help to lower the cost of government operations, they also drive innovation across government.”

The use of new technologies or platforms such as these only provides the Operational Risk Professional with new found ways to mitigate risks, not eliminate them. Therefore, whether you are the CIO at B of A or part of the Federal CIO Council in the United States the fact remains that people will continue to use lost or leaked information to their advantage. This is a threat to the enterprise no different than the loss of power, catastrophic fire or natural disaster. When you have a known threat out there such as WikiLeaks, then you now realize that this must be addressed in your vulnerability assessments and your risk management planning.

Google Apps is now FISMA Certified. Whether the number of incidents increases or diminishes will still remain with the behavior of people and the ability for OPS Risk management to continue to be part of the executive conversation on the risks of data getting into the wrong hands. With this being an inevitable situation, the convergence of crisis management, PR and media communications will increasingly become part of the Enterprise Risk Management team. Let's just hope they keep a seat for the 28 year old IT staffer who supports the implementation of their enterprise apps and the exponential growth of their information cloud.

No comments:

Post a Comment