As you may have heard, Sony Pictures Entertainment was recently the victim of a massive cyberhacking attack. While no one is as yet exactly sure what happened, it is believed that either North Korea or one of their allies perpetrated the breach in advance of the release of The Interview, a forthcoming movie believed to be less-than-flattering to North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un.
The information released due to the cyberhacking attack includes embarrassing racist conversations between Sony stars and executives, eye-raising information about the gender disparity inside the studio, and links to locations where interested viewers can watch Sony films online before they’ve made their theater release. Additionally, some of Sony’s employees’ sensitive private and personal information has been made public, along with internal business plans.
Sony has been highly vocal about their wishes that the media not use any of the information released in the leaks as part of the coverage of the cyberattack story. Aaron Sorkin, the award-winning screenwriter, has called using the leaked information morally treasonous and spectacularly dishonorable. He knows how to turn a phrase, certainly – but he’s out of luck where it comes to public discussion of Sony’s leaked information is involved.
Whether or not the media chooses to cover Sony’s leaked information is irrelevant. Those days are long behind us. Wasting time and energy trying to contain stories that have already made it on to the free, fast-moving internet is a fool’s game. Instead, Sony needs to be focused on damage control, which means addressing the issues that have been made public, counseling their employees and executives about what constitutes allowable conversations on corporate platforms, and reminding everyone that the expectation of privacy is far from absolute in today’s world.
Sony’s situation is a call to action for the rest of us to examine how well we’re maintaining our business’ security. Do you have reasonable safeguards in place to protect your customers’ and your employees’ sensitive and personal information? What would happen if everything that’s stored in your smartphone suddenly became public knowledge? If you’re not confident in the answers to these questions, give us a call. We’ll help you come up to speed with today’s best practices to keep your data safe.
Additionally, now is a good time to remind your team that there are some conversations that don’t need to happen in professional spaces. Sony has been deeply embarrassed by the revelation of racist conversations among its team members. This is an entirely avoidable phenomenon. Of course, we would like a world where no one engages in hateful dialog of any kind – but if you’re going to do so, don’t do it in the digital spaces where your own ignorance tarnishes your employer’s reputation.
We understand Sony’s wishes that no one talk about their leaked information. Wishing that a problem would just go away is a very normal reaction. Unfortunately in business, sometimes we’re faced with situations we just can’t ignore. Instead, we’re forced to address the situation, make corrections, and move forward – hopefully with better security measures and internal behavior standards in place!