Summary: The EZ Company had produced a new information integration and visu= alization technology, and they had begun negotiation for a sale of their co= mpany to a savvy suitor. The product had been sold to many domain knowledge= experts in several multi-billion dollar companies worldwide and to several= US government agencies, all of whom had carefully inspected the technology= and considered their returns on investment.
The Problem: However, the prospective suitor told the board of directors of= EZ that the valuation of the company had been diminished as the result of = “attacks” by a single blogger using many self-promoting web pag= es and on trash talk blogs in which the attacker proclaimed himself: “= an expert in information visualization.”
It is important to note for this case that the blogger had completed no for= mal education in the field (in fact only had degree in religious studies an= d communications), nor had he published any original reviewed scholarly res= earch; yet in an apparent grudge that began years earlier in a dispute with= some of the company principals, the blogger dogmatically attacked EZ along= with people associated with EZ, their customers, and even against research= ers who he claimed were vested in EZ because they had published favorable o= riginal studies on the information visualization method and technology. In = one high-traffic blog, the attacker wrote the following false information:<= /p>
The paper published by a professor named Dr. Sobar showing improved underst= anding of the data using the EZ product is because Dr. Sobar is employed by= EZ and is biased so that she can line her own pockets. I have tested EZ my= self, and it does NOT work. EZ continues to pay lots of money to Sobar, the= Gartner Group and other industry promoters so that they place high in thei= r quadrants, but my own assessment shows their product to be a sham, and pr= ofessors such as Dr. Sobar are liars for their own gain.
-Alon= g with posts to many social media outlets with 1 star (and Thumbs Down) rat= ings…
Situation and What to do?
To try to appease the attacker, one of the company’s public relations= representatives sent an email to the blogger thanking him for trying to he= lp the company improve its products, and asked for feedback directly, and o= ffered to pay the blogger to “consult” with them to find ways t= o improve the product.
However, rather than taking this offer as a complement, the attacker was em= boldened. Theb the blogger took out of context bits of personal email messa= ge sent to him in attempt to be conciliatory, and to clarify, and the he ma= nipulated them and distributed the fabrication in a “newsletter&rdquo= ; and posted it online with his stated intention to prevent the company fro= m selling its product.
The company executives then hired several independent researchers to conduc= t studies and also solicited testimonials from several Fortune 10 companies= that had purchased the product, and they used these materials in a campaig= n to help improve the image of the product and try to neutralize the blogge= r’s attempts to interfere with the company’s business. However,= the relentless onslaught from social media by the attacker served to doom = EZ from reaching its potential.
What to do? You have been called upon by the corporate executives to develo= p a strategy to deal with the problem and to help prevent it from happening= again in the future. You will also recommend courses of action and policie= s to deal with these kinds of problems. Consequently, you shall assume the = role of “expert” and provide professional advice.
1. Drawing upon what you have read in your textbook about managing security= behaviors, the additional readings and materials you have been given, and = doing additional secondary research about the subject (which be sure to cit= e fully using APA format), develop an overall assessment of what you think = are this attacker’s motives. (Note: a useful analog resource might be= to look up on the Web about the Honeynet Project – Why People Attack= Computer Systems).
2. Ba= sed on these motivational assumptions, develop an analysis of the problem (= who, what, where, and why –fully justified).
3. Fr= om the previous premises, develop a strategy and a sophisticated solution o= r set of recommendations, written professionally (something you might provi= de to this client, your boss,