Korn Ferry Survey: Nearly Three Quarters of Executives Concerned or Very Concerned About Threats from Leaks and ‘Fake News’

-- Nearly Half Say Threat of Leaks and Fake News Has Increased in Recent Years –
-- More than Half Are More Careful About What They Put in Work Emails –

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY), the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm, today released survey results that show executives believe threats of leaks and fake news pose real issues for organizations.

Editor’s Note: Survey Responses at End of News Release

Nearly three quarters (70 percent) of executives say their C-suite leaders and boards are “concerned” or “very concerned” about the threats from leaks or fake news. As a result, almost four in ten (38 percent) said their companies are changing or have already changed their email policies, and 51 percent say they are more careful about what they put in their own work emails.

“This is a more disruptive world for organizations,” says Richard Marshall, global managing director for Korn Ferry’s Corporate Affairs practice. “The threat of reputational damage due to leaks or fake news is on the rise.”

Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents say the threat of leaks or fake news has increased in recent years, and 19 percent say their organization has been impacted by fake news in the last year. The executives say false information about their company, including financials, is the biggest threat to their organization, followed by product misinformation and false information about leadership.

“Organizations may have dealt with ‘alternative facts’ before, just not at the speed with which that misinformation can now travel thanks to social media,” Marshall says. “Between the leaks and fake news, it’s not surprising that organizations are doing a major rethink on their communications strategies and operations.”

About the Survey

There were 781 executive responses to the Korn Ferry survey, which took place in February 2017.

Survey Results

How serious does your C-Suite and Board view the threats from leaks and/or Fake news?

Extremely concerned 33 percent
Somewhat concerned 37 percent
Not concerned 30 percent

Over the past 12 months, has your organization experienced leaks of sensitive information that have compromised your company, products/services?

Yes 14 percent
No 82 percent
Not sure 4 percent

Has the threat to your organization increased during the past few years?

Yes 49 percent
No 41 percent
Not sure 10 percent

Is your company considering or has it changed its email policies because of concerns over leaks?

Yes 38 percent
No 62 percent

If no, do you think it should?

Yes 43 percent
No 57 percent

Have you become more careful about what you write or put in work emails since reports of Wikileaks’ disclosures?

Yes 51 percent
No 49 percent

During the past 12 months, has your organization been impacted by “fake news”?

Yes 19 percent
No 72 percent
Unsure 9 percent

What type of fake news is the biggest threat to your company?

Product misinformation 29 percent
False information about the company/financials 49 percent
False information about leadership 22 percent

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm. We help leaders, organizations, and societies succeed by releasing the full power and potential of people. Our nearly 7,000 colleagues deliver services through our Executive Search, Hay Group and Futurestep divisions. Visit kornferry.com for more information.

Korn Ferry
Tracy Kurschner, 612-309-3957

Source: Korn Ferry