“Expert networks” are organizations that connect companies to academics, corporate executives and government officials to provide valuable, hard-to-get information.
Anyone trying to learn about an industry can save a lot of time by using an expert network. With just a few meetings, we can understand the market, the players, the risks and the opportunities.
But what if an expert network contacts one of your employees for information about your business? How prepared are they against sharing information that could put your intellectual property at risk, or violate privacy laws, or drag them into an insider trading probe? After all, many hedge funds use such networks to gather intelligence and your employees could be offered $1,000 for an hour of their time.
Most employees don’t know what an expert network is or what it looks like (did you, before reading this?). The email invitation they receive will be flattering, painting them as experts in their field. Their natural inclination to help could make them agree to a call and the promise of a nice payout might break some of their defenses.
Are you doing enough to guard against this risk?