An in-depth assessment of business reputation was presented to interested parties at a press conference in Kyiv in 2021. In the press conference, the co-authors of the development and the experts from the research criminological center have attended the conference.
Reputation management is an important aspect of any business because a business’s reputation significantly affects the success and growth of a company. In today’s digital age, the rapid spread of information on the Internet can have a significant impact on a company’s reputation, so it is more important than ever to have a full understanding of your reputation and potential threats to it.
Information Security Institute experts have developed a methodology for in-depth reputation assessment, which includes five key modules:
- Quick Check
- Expert level
- Attack scenarios
- Sources of threats
Module 1: Quick Check
The “Quick Check” tool enables businesses to quickly assess their online reputation by examining their presence on various platforms and resources, including social media, websites, and media outlets. In addition, Quick Check checks databases for potential legal or regulatory issues that could affect a company’s reputation. This initial assessment provides valuable insight into a client’s online reputation and identifies any potential vulnerabilities or problem areas, which are then explored and the results supplemented in other blocks of the in-depth reputation assessment.
Module 2: Expert Level
This level of analysis is conducted by a team of experts, including lawyers, financiers, psychologists, linguists, and political scientists, who work with various sources and consult with institutional insiders to obtain information.
The areas researched in this step include:
- Business: A search for partners in the business whose statements may adversely affect the business.
- Family: Reputational threats related the behavior of family members of the corporation’s partners are identified. The family situation of the businessperson is analyzed in terms of the possible presence of reputational threats.
- Politics: We study business interactions with toxic personalities and analyze the political speech of businesspeople with the help of psychologists, linguists, and profiling specialists.
- Religion: We examine the attitudes of businesses toward various religious organizations and the extent to which these organizations are able to influence the business.
- Friends and relatives: We analyze individuals and close associates for reputational and informational threats, and verify any potentially compromising information.
- Sexual activities: We examine any scandals related to sexuality, sexual lifestyle, sexual predation or harassment, and attitudes towards sex and sexuality that might affect the company’s reputation.
- Hobbies and activities: We seek to identify any controversial or illegal hobbies engaged in by businesspeople or associates that may affect the company’s reputation.
- Professional associations: We analyze the professional associations of which the person or company is a member, and determine the level of toxicity of these professional associations and their potential impact on the reputation of the company.
This level of analysis is conducted on two levels, online and offline, providing a comprehensive understanding of current reputation and also identifying additional potential risks and vulnerabilities.
Module 3: Attack Scenarios
The “Attack Scenarios” module of the Advanced Reputation Assessment methodology anticipates and models vectors in individual or corporate reputation that could be exploited by attackers in the form of particular modeled scenarios. Based on the vulnerabilities identified in the previous assessment blocks, the team of experts will develop eight attack scenarios that could potentially be used to destroy one’s reputation. These scenarios include both the most likely vectors, which could be exploited by a low-level attacker, and less obvious attacks that are only available to sophisticated adversaries. The experts will analyze each scenario in detail, taking into account the potential impact on the company’s reputation and the resources required to prevent the scenario and provide recommendations on how to properly respond to attacks.
Module 4: Sources of Threats
A process is adopted to identify and classify potential attackers based on the difficulty of the attacks they could mount. As part of an Advanced Reputation Analysis, this profiling is designed to help clients understand likely adversaries involved in potential reputational attacks. Based on the attack scenarios developed in the previous block, our experts classify attack actors based on the type of scenario, and the capacity of particular attackers to use different kinds of scenario.
In addition, this block includes a threat level assessment for each potential attacker, designed to indicate whether a given client is at particular risk of higher-difficulty attacks from sophisticated attackers.
Module 5: Recommendations
The “Recommendations” module of the advanced reputation analysis is designed to provide companies with actionable strategies to protect and improve their reputations. During this stage of the assessment, a team of Information Security Institute experts will analyze the results of the previous modules and provide expert opinions on strategic options available to address any vulnerabilities and potential threats.
These recommendations may include:
1. Strategies to eliminate any identified compromising or questionable facts from a client’s reputational profile.
2. Suggestions for changing habits or hobbies that could harm a person’s reputation.
3. Tips for forming a positive model of behavior in relation to society.
4. Recommendations for interacting with the media.
This last point will usually include recommendations regarding which social media networks are best suited for building a particular client’s reputation, and which platforms should be avoided due to high risks of reputational attacks. It will also usually include recommendations regarding the desirable number and format of posts on social media platforms, such as the number of posts per day and the best kinds of language to use.
Advanced analysis provides not only an expert study of business reputation, but also an assessment of likely threats from a given client’s business environment. On the basis of postulated vulnerabilities, the analysis includes eight most-likely scenarios of reputational attack, and a classification of most-likely attackers in high- and low-sophistication categories. The advanced analysis allows clients to identify any mistakes they have made when building a personal or business reputation, and any gaps they have left in terms of information security. The presence of expert recommendations in the advanced analysis is intended to prompt the necessary steps to eliminate the identified vulnerabilities and fill the missing blocks, removing the eight most likely attack vectors from an attacker’s strategic repertoire and thus rendering an individual or business exponentially safer.