Ben Woodhead Deputy editor - digital

Ben Woodhead is deputy editor - digital at the Financial Review Group. He writes on business, technology, politics and the economy and can be found on BRW, The Australian Financial Review and Smart Investor.

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What any company can learn from the world’s largest hacker group

Published 08 June 2012 09:13, Updated 12 June 2012 00:07

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The corporate world spends a lot of time fending off attacks from online ne’er-do-wells but there are suggestions businesses that embrace the attributes of hacker group Anonymous could find greater success.

Forbes this week lists five things that have made Anonymous such a powerful perceived threat to companies online, while embedding itself in the psyche of anti-capitalist protests on the streets of London and New York.

The attributes:

  • Brand power
  • Decentralisation
  • Use of small, flexible groups
  • Crowd sourcing
  • Awareness of security threats

These are familiar themes for most businesses, but by Forbes’ reckoning Anonymous is a particularly strong example of how an organisation can rise to prominence if it brings them together in the right way.

“The aims aren’t always clear, but somehow in the last few years Anonymous has become the number one perceived threat among people who work in IT security, and it refuses to leave the headlines. The movement’s ability to survive speaks to the power of leaderless groups, crowd sourcing and spontaneity,” Parmy Olson writes.

BRW touches on the brand power theme through the experiences of Sirteco and Nespresso Oceania in creating workplaces where employee engagement is considered crucial to success. The key point: “Our wish is for all our employees to become passionate ambassadors and brand advocates,” Nespresso’s Renaud Tinel says.

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