Thursday, November 08, 2007

It Only Takes One Employee 

It only takes one employee error to put an entire company at reputational risk. In this case the employee fell for a phishing scam, but in the process, he turned over the keys to the company database. The phisher was smart in that he (almost certainly a he) did not spam the company's customers but carefully moved to penetrate their databases. This kind of failure in the internet age is scary, and PR practitioners need to be alert to how to handle it. The first step, of course, is to stop the penetration. The second step is an apology to customers, an explanation of what happened but most importantly, the solution the company is using so it never happens again. Salesforce.com did not appear to own up immediately to the failure, which only hurts its reputation the more.

Cases like this give executives the shivers.


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