President Obama issued his much-anticipated cybersecurity executive order this month to slightly mixed reviews. It’s a hot topic, given the undeniable need to protect US critical infrastructure like electric grids, financial institutions, water supply systems, and air traffic control from cyber attacks. The executive order provides for the sharing of cyber threat information with companies that run those critical infrastructure networks.
Cyber threats made the news last week on a less threatening level, comparatively, when Burger King’s and Jeep’s Twitter accounts were hacked. Hackers falsely proclaimed these companies had been sold to competitors and proceeded to tweet all sorts of unsavory comments. National security wasn’t at risk, but online reputation management was definitely top of mind in the marketing world.
In fact, those incidents provided enormous PR opportunities for the victims with an avalanche of free publicity and new social media followers. It’s theirs to capitalize on or miss, depending on how they play their response.
These stories from Pennsylvania Avenue and Wall Street remind us that each of us on Main Street need to be vigilant with our personal infrastructure as well.