A recent fire in an Australian bank branch had us raising this question:
"How important is it to monitor social media chatter to ensure you are meeting your 'Duty of Care' responsibilities?"
Now consider this, by having online monitoring in place for each branch, a bank could be alerted to an incident that could have impacted staff, customers and business continuity in real-time, even before being notified through official channels. And in the case of this particular incident the bank may have seen this post on Twitter before information filtered through official channels:
This real time information not only helps corporate security teams deal with the immediate aftermath, but also ensures 'Duty of Care' responsibilities are being met.
If your bank or corporation isn't monitoring the open source intelligence available, you're missing out on huge potential for mitigating risk and increasing situational awareness, as well as giving you precious extra minutes to respond.
This goes toward ensuring all bases are covered when it comes to the safety of staff and customers, and helps you to respond more effectively to the needs of the crisis.
Here are some ways Open Source Intelligence can assist 'Duty of Care' and mitigate risk:
To recap, a man lit an accelerant in a Commonwealth Bank branch, setting fire to himself and bystanders and leaving 27 people injured – with two in critical condition. It was a very serious and terrifying situation, with the potential for backlash.
1. Be the first to know
Videos and images of the fire were being posted online from the get-go. The crisis played out in real-time online, with news of the incident breaking on Twitter first.
2. Tick off safety requirements, improve response time
Are you doing all you can? Being the first to see online commentary would tick off precautionary boxes, as well as save valuable minutes in response time so extra preparation could go into crisis comms and disaster response.
3. Corroborate real-time visual data to increase situational awareness
It's not only 'Duty of Care' that online updates can assist with. They could also have helped increase situational awareness for firefighters responding to the scene.
With the details on what actually caused the explosion still being investigated, online information could have helped fire investigators find witnesses and corroborate this additional intelligence into what was already known.
4. Monitor community chatter in the incident aftermath
It is not just during the incident that it is important to follow online conversations. Post-event it is important to listen to community chatter, ensure citizens are coping and that no misinformation is being spread.
After a crisis hits, people want to know details of the incident and how long it will take for things to return to normal.
By monitoring social media, you can be the first to know when something has gone wrong and help to ensure the safety of both staff and customers.