Hacker-Gate 2013 continues and brands on Twitter are the latest targets. After Burger King was compromised on President’s Day the newest victim is none other than @jeep with its profile sporting a Cadillac logo and less than flattering profile description.
So the question everyone is asking now is what can we do to prevent this? It doesn’t appear that even the U.S. Government can prevent would-be hackers from accessing highly confidential information. What’s a brand like Jeep to do? There are of course tools that can help to manage potential threats by setting up alert systems. That’s good for daily management but what happens when your account gets hacked at 3am? 24/7 moderation that includes multiple channel scans per hour can be expensive and thus budget restrictive. What brands and their agencies need is a detailed and up to date Crisis Management Plan.
Once you have been made aware your account is hacked agencies and brands should work together to initiate the following:
- Immediate recovery of the channel – either by changing the password or seeking assistance from the dedicated channel reps. Community Managers should have a list of emergency channel contacts handy in their moderation procedures documents.
- Issue a statement – it can help to have a statement in your back pocket that is pre-authorized for quick response to the community.
- Damage assessment – assess what content was published during the hack and what needs to be removed immediately. It’s also important to track down any channel followers/fans/etc that were contacted directly during the time of the hack to make sure an apology is issued and that no harmful instruction or information was community to them by the hackers. During this time images and language that the hackers used should be filed for later assessment (see step
- Strategize your short-term communications plan – this will need to be custom to the event, whether appropriate to respond with humor, business as usual or something else.
- Scope the extent of the hack and implications on the brand – after the above prioritized actions have taken place it’s important to understand the effect the hack had on your brand, the channels fanbase and overall sentiment. Listening tools will help to plot the volume of conversation before, during and after the hack took place. These insights can be helpful in identifying the best way to move forward with the fanbase from a communications standpoint.
Mentioned in the hack? Let’s say your account wasn’t hacked but your brand was mentioned in the event. Cadillac responded quickly to the Jeep incident by absolving themselves from involvement.
In short brands and their agencies should have a plan that empowers the collective team to act fast so to lessen the damage and preserve the overall integrity of the account.
Questions? Ask @m80social