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Social Media and Open Source Business Intelligence the focus for Security Professionals

Most executives are behind on the practical business applications of social media and open source intelligence. Tony Ridley recently conducted a specialised workshop for security professionals at the NZ Security Conference 2012.


Online reputation, crisis management, brand protection and marketing disciplines have combined to create great opportunities and threats to businesses of all types. Increasingly, security professionals are left to quantify the risks from online content and respond to crisis affecting the company or it’s people. Social media gets the blame in many instances but few know how to actually use it effectively. The recent New Zealand Security Conference 2012, held in Auckland, focused on developing and educating security professionals on social media and open source business intelligence

Tony Ridley
, international security and social media/open source intelligence professional conducted an education session for attendees of the annual conference. Invited by the organising committee for the event, Tony demonstrated the various social media channels, research, monitoring, analysis, verification, reporting, publishing and response options for security professionals. All most all acknowledged their limited experience in the area of social media and were able to apply recommendations immediately. 

Despite the fact that many security departments within companies are leaders in crisis and risk management for businesses, few adequately understand what opportunities and threats exist in the online, user published content space. “Security professionals at all levels are slowly understanding the need to become proficient in social media in order to develop objective views on specific topics, including their own company” explained Tony Ridley, Director for Products and Services at MRD, a premium business consulting firm. “The great thing about the internet is that there are a lot of free and simple tools, along with methods, for security professionals to experiment with and determine what is best for them or their departments” Tony went on to say. “We can show an individual how to get the result of a dozen or more researchers working around the clock.” “This is obviously a powerful motivator for cost conscious businesses and departments” he concluded. 

The session was detailed enough for commercial security providers in attendance to create targeted marketing strategies using the tools, tips and tricks demonstrated by Tony. As an owner of an internet marketing business, in addition to being a security professional with social media expertise, Tony was ideally placed to provide immediate advice to first time users and seasoned open source intelligence professionals alike. Corporate security representatives were shocked at some of the tricks used to dominate their brand online but were quickly able to develop strategies for monitoring and responding to specific content and groups. 

MRD currently runs social media and open source intelligence training for select clients and security professionals but will be offering a broader education and training workshop program in the coming weeks. Demand and rapid evolution of social media has positioned MRD as a subject matter expert in the use of online resources, including social media to create tailored business intelligence products. 

Tony Ridley will be speaking on social media and online business intelligence for security professionals at the upcoming ASIS Conference 2012 to be held in Hong Kong. He is also author of the ebook Social Media Technologies for Business Intelligence: Crisis, Security Travel and Emergency available at Amazon’s Kindle Store. 

About MRD

is a leading, premium international consulting company providing tailored business solutions to clients in a wide range of environments. Services include:

  • Business intelligence
  • Travel Risk Management
  • Project Management
  • Security Services
  • Risk Management
  • Business Resilience
  • Safety Systems
  • Reputation Management
  • Crisis Management


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