Home – Crisis communication in a cyber attack

Crisis communication in a cyber attack

Posted on 08-31-2018 by Alyssa Vorhees

 Picture this: You're responsible for managing your brand's internet presence when suddenly you realize you've become the victim of a security breach. Do you panic? Or do you have a plan in place to keep you grounded?

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the cost of cybercrime worldwide is expected to reach $6 trillion by 2021, marking a 100% increase from 2015. With businesses frequently falling victim to such attacks, it's critical PR professionals have a strategy in place for crisis communication. Consider the following tips:

Let the public know you're handling the issue
The last thing you want to do is pretend the attack never occurred in the first place. Your audience is likely aware, so make certain you're transparent and address the issue, advised Chris Leach, a chief technologist for HPE Security Services.

"Communicate with people upward and downward, and communicate continuously," Leach told MIT Technology Review. "Include what you know to inspire confidence that you, as a company, are addressing the issue and protecting the information."

Where possible, commit to action: "For instance, say 'we're going to have this resolved by' - and then fill in the blank."

Develop and maintain a crisis communication plan
It's not enough to tell your audience that you're aware of the issue and you're working to fix it. How exactly are you dealing with the cyberattack? Creating a crisis communication plan ensures you're prepared for anything and offers a timely fix in the event of a disaster. The U.K. Local Government Association recommended:

  • Creating a contact list of the crisis communication team.
  • Developing a feasible timeline for addressing the issue.
  • Arranging a list of stakeholders, audiences and channels you need to address as soon as something goes wrong.
  • Providing a list of passwords to the appropriate people so that multiple stakeholders can access software and deal with the crisis.

Make sure to keep hard and digital copies of your crisis communication plan, as losing it could cause a crisis itself.

To avoid failing to recover after a cyber attack, make sure you practice your crisis communication plan on a regular basis - especially when new faces join the team. Run specific drills every quarter to ensure you're in good shape and highly prepared for the event of a cyber disaster.

3 Ways to Apply this Information Now:

1. Prevent errors and missteps by tracking media coverage with LexisNexis Newsdesk®.

2. Download an ebook on Crisis Management to learn more tips and best practices.

3. Share this blog on LinkedIn to keep the dialogue going with your colleagues and contacts.

Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close