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Data Breach: Tips for Easing the Pain

Even the best spin doctor can’t make a data breach seem financially fit. The average cost of a data breach last year was $5.5 million or $194 per breached record, according to a recent study1.

The fact of the matter is that data breaches are costly, time consuming and, if not handled properly, can cripple or lead to the death of an organization.

But there are ways to ease the pain of a data breach and maintain the loyalty of your customers, employees or patients. Consumers expect organizations to safeguard their personal information, especially if it involves financial or medical records. So when these records become exposed, folks want to know about it and want some reassurance that their identities won’t be stolen.

Some of the top actions expected by consumers following a data breach are prompt notification of the loss or theft, along with free credit and identity monitoring for at least one year.2 Organizations that provide these services may help ease the fears of their customers, employees or patients.

Perhaps that’s why 85% of the respondents in a recent survey chose to provide credit and identity monitoring services to their consumers, according to Experian®’s 2012 Data Breach Resolution Client Survey.

Setting up an efficient call center is another way to ease the pain of a data breach. When your consumers want to know what happened and what to do next, it’s worthwhile to have knowledgeable agents answer their calls promptly to reduce confusion and calm their nerves. Two-thirds of our clients rate Experian’s data breach call centers as outstanding or very good, according to the data breach client survey.

Although these services may make the breach more expensive upfront, they can potentially save millions later on, when customers, employees and patients decide to stay with your organization rather than jump ship. This generosity can also prevent lawsuits and help save your reputation.

To find out more about what Experian’s data breach clients think of our services, click here for an infographic on “Our Clients Speak Out” survey.


1 2011 Cost of a Data Breach Study: United States, Ponemon Institute, March 2012

2 Third Annual Survey on Medical Identity Theft, June 2012


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