Perspectives Newsletter

Issue 1 | SPRING 2012

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Have you had a data breach?

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Create a Response Plan You Can Act On

A data breach is a critical juncture for a business. Do things right, and it can benefit your brand and your bottom line. But do things wrong, and you may face customer backlash, lawsuits and fines.

Following a data breach, you have a lot of important decisions to make. Unfortunately, you don’t have a lot of time. How will you stop any continuing data loss? How can you prevent a repeat of the problem? Are you obligated by law to notify affected individuals? If not, will you notify them anyway? How?

Respondents in a recent study believe a breach of customer data diminishes the value of a company’s reputation by 21%.1 So every decision you make carries significant weight. Companies that outline their response plan before a breach occurs are in a position to respond responsibly and effectively, thereby acting to protect their reputations and assets from harm.

Writing for the Experian® Data Breach Resolution blog, the Identity Theft Resource Center states that, “companies with strong incident response plans are able to react more quickly and accurately, prevent further data loss (and potential fines) and present factual reporting to the public that minimizes customer backlash and negative publicity.”

A comprehensive response plan should, in part, identify:

  • Response team members who will respond to the breach, and the responsibilities of each member.
  • The steps necessary for investigating a breach. Include contacts for your forensics firm.
  • How to determine whether notification is necessary and how to implement notifications. Rely heavily on your legal team during this process no matter how detailed your response plan is.
  • The steps and resources that will help ensure business continuity during breach response.
  • Any external contacts, including your notification vendor, and other resources you’ll need to call on for help.

A data breach can derail your company from its path. To stay on track even during a breach, create a response plan you can rely and act on to guide you through the ordeal.

The 28-page Data Breach Response Guide, including worksheets and legal overviews, from Experian Data Breach Resolution can help you get started or help you evaluate your current plan.

Click here to download your free response guide.


Reputation Impact of a Data Breach, Ponemon Institute (November 2011)

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