How to communicate and manage your reputation with a data breach

Data breaches have become a global concern and risk for industry, with the number of reported breaches on the rise.

Businesses impacted by data breaches are experiencing devastating consequences, including enormous financial losses, the erosion of customer and client confidence and the destruction of their brand and reputation.

Given the high level of public scrutiny and the increased regulatory environment, businesses have realised they can no longer bury their heads in the sand when it comes to cyber security.

The issue has ignited a number of questions regarding industry readiness:
  • How prepared are Australian businesses for a possible data breach?
  • How do you communicate a data breach to your customers, clients, employees, vendors, suppliers and the public?
  • How resilient is your organisation in the face of potential disaster?

Although there is no magic bullet for preventing a data breach (even global brands like Facebook and Yahoo have been exposed), businesses can take proactive steps to ensure they have a robust cyber security communications response plan in place.

Whether businesses are the subject of a data breach as the result of a cyber-attack or from human error, all data breaches pose a significant threat to business. The consequences can be significant and far-reaching and include financial loss, reputational damage, destruction or loss of data, risk of exposing intellectual property or trade secrets, and unplanned downtime.

Although 262 data breaches were reported to the Notifiable Breaches Scheme in Australia between October and December 2018 – with 64% of breaches caused by malicious or criminal attacks – most organisations are not taking proactive action when it comes to cyber security. According to the 2018/2019 BDO and AusCERT Cyber Security Survey, only 43.20% of respondents have cyber insurance. With so much at stake, cyber security – including a comprehensive cyber security communications response plan – should be a top priority for all organisations.

So, the question is: How ready is your business?

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