Andrew is right to worry. However, as I speak to more and more senior social media managers, particularly on the corporate side, what’s apparent is the shift in thinking, in conversation and experience.
They are definitely talking about how social media can drive wider business aims and importantly, be aligned with a company’s overall objectives. They are not just focused on the latest cool campaign that will have short-term repetitional impact at best.
As social media starts to become ‘social business’, through its influence in helping to improving functions outside of its current corporate incubators of communication, maketing, customer services or recruitment, its key people will rise up the food chain and be taken more seriously. As well as having influence — or Kred as Andrew might call it — externally, social media bosses need to become better internal communicators and internal achievers.
Maybe if they focus less on being a ‘guru’ and more on their business (or client) they’ll be ready for the transition from social media to social business.
— Chris Woods (@chrismwoods)
My article below was originally published on the PRCA website.
This week, the government released statistics showing a cyber attack can cost an SME six per cent of its turnover. Worryingly, it found that 87% of SMEs and 93% of companies with more than 250 employees experienced a cyber security breach between 2012-13. The overall financial cost to businesses of cyber attacks has tripled in just a year. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) report released alongside the data is one that IT heads at consultancies of all sizes should be reading and acting on.
As people who help build, protect and manage clients’ reputations, PRs have a responsibility to ensure that our businesses and our clients’ social and digital properties are as secure from cyber attack as can be reasonably expected. If a client is hacked via you, you only have yourself to blame and it will have an impact on your reputation. As Wired’s Mat Honan wrote after he was famously hacked in 2012: “Those security lapses are my fault, and I deeply, deeply regret them.”
Increasingly, as communications consultants we are seeing the importance of cyber security for clients. IBM’s Peter Jopling has said they monitor 13 billion cyber events targeted at their clients each day for possible threats. Do you know how your consultancy’s IT network is being targeted? At Hanover we have conducted detailed audits of our IT setup during pitch processes. For one client, we organised for a third party to conduct a mock cyber attack against our digital infrastructure to ensure we had sufficient resilience in place to protect both us and client concerned. For another, our consultants go through multiple layers of security in order to access the client’s systems and adhere to an agreement to open our physical and digital doors for snap inspections.
The smaller, independent consultancies and freelancers shouldn’t, as journalist Mat Honan did, stick their collective heads in the sand, and as Oxford University’s Sadie Creese said, there’s no magic bullet: “There’s no once piece of tech that can protect us online.” There are some simple steps that can be followed such as making consultants change their computer passwords monthly, knowing how to handle a Twitter-based hack, ensuring mobile devices have keypad locks, moving towards two-step authentication and making sure firewalls and anti-virus software is installed and up-to-date.
According to Richard Thompson, former Chief Constable of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, the cyber security threat primarily comes from:
If you can imagine a scenario where any of these sources might want to target your client – perhaps they are a government or work in the defence sector – then there is additional incentive to act.
Speaking at a Policy Exchange/Nesta event on 23rd April, Thompson said that it is “… not just up to the state but up to the individual to protect themselves online”, with Peter Jopling agreeing: “There’s no legislation to say you must lock your door so why should there be legislation to make you lock your digital door?” As the event began, FIFA Sepp Blatter was being targeted by the Syrian Electronic Army. The same network that claimed a cyber attack against the BBC in March and the Associated Press this week, when it compromised @AP to Tweet, inaccurately, that there had been explosions at the White House with President Barack Obama being injured.
— Chris Woods (@chrismwoods)
For professional communicators, there is a problem in the message too – cyber security seems rather geeky, like it must be someone else’s problem. Reputationally, it is our problem and we must make cyber security relevant within our business and to our clients. Sadie Creese concluded at Monday’s event by asking, how can cyber security be made relevant? She wants your views @sadiecreese.
— Chris Woods (@chrismwoods)
Quickoffice has been an elegant way to edit Microsoft Office format files on the go. It has integrated fully with Dropbox, allowing the user to download from the cloud storage service, edit and then upload, replacing the original file. Being able to do so on an iOS device has until now made Quickoffice Pro the bee’s knees of productivity apps across the iPad/iPhone ecosystem — better than Pages, Numbers and Keynote. It has been a great tool for business travel, as I wrote about in Business Review Europe after a Eurostar hop to Brussels in May 2012. Dropbox integration was why I purchased the Quickoffice app in the first place.
Google bought Quickoffice in June 2012 and has since integrated it with Google Apps for Business. Whereas Google has retained Quickoffice’s integration with its own cloud storage service Google Drive as well as rival services Box, Sugarsync and Huddle, on April 4 it announced that it is withdrawing support in Quickoffice for Dropbox. This announcement was made quietly within the iOS app via an in-app alert; on its own help forum; and within the Google products help forum.
The latter post advised:
Due to some technical issues between Quickoffice (versions 4.6 or earlier) and Dropbox, you will no longer be able to connect to Dropbox after April 30th. Please note: this issue affects both iOS and Android users and Dropbox files will not be affected. In the meantime, we recommend installing the Dropbox app on your device to access files.
-Your Quickoffice community
Within the iOS Quickoffice app, you no longer have the option of adding a Dropbox account:
(You can still add Dropbox in Quickoffice Pro HD on iPad.)
However, the help section of the iPhone app still details instructions for adding Dropbox:
Does this mean that a licence agreement between Dropbox and Google has ended in a similar way that Google and Twitter parted ways? Is this a technical issue that will be overcome in a future update of Quickoffice? Has Google decided Dropbox is a threat to Google Drive? Or perhaps simply too few people use Dropbox with Quickoffice to continue to support the integration? Whatever the case, from the end of April a workflow I use frequently will no longer possible. I will be asking both Dropbox and Quickoffice to comment on the matter and if they respond, I’ll update this post.
Google Reader’s demise makes it an exciting time for RSS service and app developers. The news that Google’s Quickoffice will say farewell to loyal Dropbox customers at the end of this month is an opportunity for Dropbox to add edit functionality to its own apps. Or another provider to come along and fill the gap. In an ideal world of wishful thinking, Apple would allow Dropbox to operate alongside iCloud in its iWork productivity suite or Microsoft would do the same alongside SkyDrive in its reported upcoming Office release for iOS.
*** UPDATE MAY 16, 2013 ***
Thanks for everyone’s comments to this post. Firstly, it should be noted that QuickOffice Pro HD (iPad app) still integrates and works well with Dropbox (which is the good news). The problem is with QuickOffice Pro (iPhone app) which no longer supports Dropbox. Which is odd, considering the QuickOffice HD features webpage still claims that Dropbox is supported.