All types of organizations – from Fortune 100 to "mom-and-pop" operations – are susceptible to negative exposure each and every time an employee surfs the Web using company equipment. It’s an all-too-frequent occurrence. A check on Wikiscanner for example, shows that 86 percent of the Fortune 100 companies have had employees editing Wikipedia entries using the organization’s network – most of them having nothing to do with the corporation. Here are just a few edits made by company staff members:
- Lockheed Martin: Jenna Jameson, Beavis and Butt-head, Jackass (the TV series), NCAA Football 08, Punk'd
- Northrop Grumman: America's Next Top Model, Arizona Cardinals, Final Fantasy XI, Happy Hour, PlayStation 3
- General Dynamics: 2007 Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament, Lethal Weapon 4, Marathon, Sandra Bullock, The Real World, Timeline of Christianity
- Humana: 2006 NFL season, Ferrari 360, Miami Dolphins.
This is just one example of how easy it is for an organization to become a victim of “Brandjacking,” whereby copyrights, trademarks and intellectual properties are significantly compromised as a result of unintentional or malicious activities. Today there are more than one billion IP addresses that have been collected and aggregated by nefarious Web sites, despite the fact that these same organizations have mandated the use of anti-virus, anti-adware, anti-spam, firewall and cookie removal solutions for every employee workstation. Other scenarios could involve a company’s marketing team that uses the Web to research a competitor’s online pricing or feature/function sets. These actions, even when done outside of work, can tip off a rival that can counter such moves at the click of a mouse.
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