After a Data Breach

After a Data Breach, Companies Face a New Set of Attackers

(Lock your doors and grab a helmet, this could get ugly)

Greg Lewerer | July 18, 2018
Warning - Do not feed the trolls

Now that data breaches have become the hottest thing since Napster, companies are finding themselves in the cyber hot seat. There are a number of things that can keep a business from buttoning up security. They may not have the required time and resources, be living in denial, or just not understand it enough to take the first steps.

But what happens if a hacker attacks and steals mountains of sensitive data? It’d be nice if you could play the victim card and call it a day. Unfortunately, a breach will leave you vulnerable to a whole new kind of attacker.

We’re not talking about lawyers, regulators or the local, state and federal cybercrime law enforcement. The antagonist of this story is your customers. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that they, and Americans in general, are not fans of cyberattacks and actually fear them more than getting murdered.

crimes americans worry about the most

If you decide to continue not to increase safety measures, or don’t have the resources, having a solid incident response plan and cyber insurance might be the only way your company can survive a breach. 

When Customers Attack!

Even if your patrons are in love with your brand and can’t get enough of your entertaining social posts, losing their data can end their admiration instantly. And turn them into a scorned lover who’s ready to key your car and tell your friends all your embarrassing secrets (figuratively speaking.)

percentage of customers lost after attack

It takes time to build a brand’s reputation and trust with their customers. And in one fell swoop, a hacker can tarnish your reputation and turn loyal customers against you. But wait… there’s more. And it gets worse. Much worse.

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Hashtag: When the internet attacks!

If the world smells blood and hears that your customers are unhappy, everyone will want to hashtag you through the coals. Fixing your street cred after a breach is no joke, unless you’re a troll or anybody who thinks of something funny to post at your expense.

picture of equifax breach conference

And if you become a trending topic, then it becomes a contest about who can come up with the best burn. It can get all kinds of nasty. If you’re smart, a genuine public apology should be your only response. Even if they continue to throw hashtags and tomatoes at you.

Can Breach Fatigue Save You?

If you’re hoping for some kind of miracle that will soften the blow of an attack, breach fatigue might be what you’re looking for. 

chart of annual number of data breaches

Now that data breaches are becoming more common, people are starting to become numb to them. If they’re not personally affected, they might forget the whole thing altogether. For big companies, breaches could just be tiny blips and eventually fall off everyone’s radar, but small companies may not be so lucky.

percentage of SMB owners who think they are at risk of data breach

Due to hacking concerns, shopping behavior is trending towards major brands and retailers. Consumers think the big players will have the funds to make things right or the social visibility to be forced to. That being said, if it does happen to you, is your product or service so awesome that it’s worth their trouble? And will you have the funds to recover?

Preventing Public Outrage

As much as you wish that your customers, online trolls and the general public would recognize you as the innocent victim, it’s probably not going to happen. Instead, you will be considered a ruthless criminal until an investigation has been completed.

During your time under the microscope you will have to prove you weren’t negligent. And admit anything you could have done to prevent the breach. If you can prove that you did everything you could, the world, including customers, regulators and the law, may show you a tiny bit of mercy.

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Incident Response Plan

If you don’t want to get caught with your pants down, having a solid incident response plan is key to surviving a breach. This will help you address and conquer a cyberattack while limiting damage and cutting recovery time and costs. 

Coming up with this emergency protocol is a journey no business owner should go alone. If your company isn’t big enough to have an IT department or a C-Level exec for this initiative, then hiring a legit cyber security company will be your best bet.

Cyber Liability Insurance

With data breaches being so common, it’s kinda weird that companies are not double-checking their policies. Even if you do everything you can to prevent a breach and respond like a champ, it’ll cost you. Having the right cyber liability insurance can be your ticket to recovering financially.

Unfortunately, cyber coverage in most business plans is not as awesome as you’d hope. But finding adequate protection isn’t as hard as you think. 

Risk placement services (RPS) make it incredibly easy to get accurate quotes in minutes. Plus, it only takes four simple questions to bind coverage up to $100 million in revenue. So you’ll have that going for you.

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And there it is, a handful of data breach talking points to take to your company. Remember, the reason you’re in business is your customers. And if you lose their sensitive info and their trust, you could be on a direct path to liquidating your assets on craigslist.

Hopefully this article will convince you and the rest of your businessfolk to come up with preventive measures followed by a solid incident response plan.

Good luck and godspeed! Article | Reviewed by FRSecure
Sources © 2020, Consumer Agent Portal, LLC. All rights reserved.

Human References: Evan Francen, Suzy Feine and Stefan Dorn from FRSecure

Reference: from our friends at Gallup (2015)

Reference: from our friends at Cisco (2017)

Reference: from our friends at Identity Theft Resource Center (2017)

Reference: from our friends at Manta (2017)

© 2020, Consumer Agent Portal, LLC. All rights reserved.

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