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How to Survive a Data Breach

A Pocket Guide

How to Survive a Data Breach by Stewart Mitchell
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How would your organisation survive a data protection failure?

  • This pocket guide tells you what to do to prepare for a data breach
  • Explains how to handle the situation and minimise damage
  • Shows you the steps to take and how to retain customer confidence

Be prepared for a data breach with this handy pocket guide!

Data breaches are becoming a fact of life. As companies retain more data on clients, and data collection becomes more centralised, the risk of multiple records going missing increases. If your organisation gets hit by a data breach, then the way you respond will have a huge impact on your ability to recover. For this reason, forward planning is essential.

This handy pocket guide tells you what you need to do to prepare for a data breach. It explains the key measures you need to take to handle the situation and to minimise the damage. The information is drawn from various regulatory publications, and interviews with security experts, lawyers and software suppliers.

Retain customer confidence

If a data breach throws your organisation totally off-balance, then you will lose the trust of your clients and your customer base will crumble to dust. Having emergency plans in place will help you to keep existing customers on side.

Benefits to business include:

  • Hit the ground running
    If your organisation suffered a data breach, how quickly would you even know about it? You need to be made aware of a problem before you can fix it. Insist on hearing bad news immediately, and stop fraud in its tracks! And if you have a rapid response team lined up in advance of any incident, you will be able to respond faster and manage the crisis more effectively
  • Identify the culprit
    If the data breach is the work of hackers or malicious insiders, then you will want to find out who is responsible and perhaps even secure a conviction. This book tells you the best approach to take to bring the miscreant to account
  • Control the story
    When the message you send out to the media is incoherent, you end up looking confused and incompetent. So if you have to manage a data breach crisis, it is vital to have a public relations strategy in place well in advance. With this book’s expert professional advice, you can prevent a data breach from turning into a PR disaster.

PR considerations

If your company suffers a leak and then tries to hide it under the carpet, your problems could become much worse. If people subsequently found out that your organisation had concealed information that might have helped protect your customers, the damage and costs to your reputation would be immense.

Your PR strategy will heavily influence people’s view of the way you are handling the crisis. Your company needs to get its message out, making itself available for comment and keeping journalists informed. Once you have decided to go public about the incident, delay is damaging and silence is fatal. In the event of a data breach, having a pre-prepared, generic statement on hand can buy you some valuable time.

As Stewart Mitchell points out, “If data breaches are inevitable, then it is imperative that companies – from the chief executive down – understand the implications of a breach and prepare for the inevitable.”

Don’t let your organisation’s reputation and brand image suffer.

IT Governance Ltd; February 2009
44 pages; ISBN 9781905356973
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: How to Survive a Data Breach
Author: Stewart Mitchell