Managing the Reputations of Client Executives

ChannelIn The News

Due to the non-stop and wide-reaching nature of the Internet, the digital lives of executives have become a key component of enterprise security. What executives say or don’t say, what others are saying about them, where they are saying it, and to whom increasingly makes or breaks reputations. This is a unique opportunity for MSPs. Protecting key executives against false narratives and brand-damaging content demonstrates to clients that you are taking a more robust approach to managing digital risk and avoiding loss of customer trust, physical harm, and revenue loss. 

1. Executives’ reputations are a key contributor to the organization’s reputation and bottom line.

Online threats toward executives not only jeopardize them individually but also the organization as a whole. Because they are often the face of the company, both public opinion and profitability may depend on the perception of shareholders and customers. Weber Shandwick found that 45% of the company’s reputation and 44% of the company’s market value were connected to the CEO’s reputation. By identifying and addressing risks across the public attack surface now, MSPs can avoid being blindsided by risks towards executives and other corporate assets in the future. This awareness is a tactical way to prove an MSP has taken as many preventative measures as possible to protect the reputations of executives and of the company. MSPs can provide executive Digital Risk Assessments (DRA) for their clients using platforms and DRA services offered through vendors like Media Sonar.

2. Managing the executive’s reputation is a long game.

While a single post usually isn’t harmful, the consistency of reputationally damaging posts over time can have a harmful effect on an executive’s reputation. MSPs looking to offer this type of risk protection must understand what’s being said with consideration of what that may mean downstream. Establishing a baseline of what’s ‘normal’ for executives online makes it easy to identify changes in negative sentiment. Keeping abreast of the type of content and channels that have caused problems in the past is key to understanding what might cause problems in the future. With a better understanding of the online sentiment towards executives, you can help your clients adjust their own practices and not worry about reputationally damaging content unless it escalates. If one day they wake up to thousands of posts on the same topic, you are both already aware of the problem and have proactively identified steps to take.

3. The executive is in charge of their reputation.

Executives will vary in their vigilance in managing their online behavior or that of their families from the lens of its impact on their organization. Being in a position to provide a summarized awareness of what information is out there and where, knowing what’s being said about it, is a valuable measure that MSPs can offer to the organizations they support in helping their executives live safely and securely.  It can also help identify executive online security training requirements and adjust online behaviors if necessary  If your team is not able to stay on top of information and opinions executives are putting out into the world then you are missing an opportunity in your risk coverage value proposition to the clients you support.   

4. You cannot control what people post.

There is not a lot you can overtly do in terms of controlling what the general public posts. If the content has been posted on social media, a review website, blog, or forum, you can challenge the content that contradicts the platform’s guidelines and contact the site directly. Google and Bing also have tools available for reporting inappropriate content. 

Generally speaking, conspiracy groups and ideological groups are not broadcasting their narratives to the world on these platforms. They are instead having conversations in their small networks that make it even more difficult to remove harmful content. For content that cannot be removed, your focus should be on staying aware of what is being said about executives and where it’s being said. Whether that be a slew of negative social media posts or reputationally damaging dark web discussions, staying on top of the sentiment across these channels helps avoid blind spots and remediate reputational risks that have escalated.

Managing Executive Reputations with Media Sonar

Media Sonar helps to protect brand-critical assets across digital channels where reputationally damaging risks can occur. MSPs can deliver consolidated risk assessments of the digital footprint of their clients’ executives, increasing the standard of care that they provide to their clients.  In conjunction with our platform, Media Sonar’s DRA services provide your client with a comprehensive but consumable summary of their executive digital risk exposure – an affordable, low-effort option for MSPs with strong client value.

 With Media Sonar’s DRA Services, you get:

  • Detection of web content associated with the executive digital footprint using expert-built queries across news sites, blogs, social media, and the deep and dark web to identify reputational risks towards executives.
  • A comprehensive yet easily consumable report of reputational risks, information leaks, and threats of violence related to executives and other corporate assets. 
  • Analyst curation of detected content for perceived risk levels with remediation recommendations based on findings.
  • One time or recurring engagement risk assessment services

This article was first published on eChannel News.

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