More companies than ever are taking a proactive approach to data breaches; our second annual data breach preparedness study, conducted by Ponemon, found that 72 percent of polled companies had a data breach response plan in place, a 5 percent increase from the year before. Experian Data Breach Resolution believes that figure needs to reach 100 percent, so we’ve updated our Data Breach Response Guide to help make it even easier for companies to be prepared as they take a fresh look at their response plans in the New Year.
Although more companies have a plan, not everyone is as confident as they would like to be about their preparedness. A recent Ponemon Institute study found that only 38 percent of companies feel they’re well prepared to handle a data breach, and a third of those who had a plan felt it would be ineffective if a breach were to occur.
They’re right to be concerned. The number of data breaches grows every year, and the fiduciary and reputational costs of a breach can be devastating. Companies can pay from thousands to millions of dollars on repair and remediation. What’s more, large breaches make headlines, and the breached company isn’t the only one that suffers the backlash of consumer sentiment. Big-news breaches engender greater consumer awareness of the risks and impact of a data breach, and contribute to consumers’ distrust that companies won’t be able to protect their customers.
In terms of dealing with a data breach, your best defense is a proactive offense. Your organization should identify a response team, develop a plan, secure external experts ahead of time, research and secure legitimate protection products, and review and practice your plan on an ongoing basis. A strong PR component should also be part of your plan, in order to communicate to customers that your organization is aware of the risks and is committed to protecting consumers.
Available for free download, our 2015 Data Breach Response Guide can help your organization understand the data breach notification process, how to choose external vendors, considerations for international breaches and insight on how to successfully manage communications in the wake of a data breach. The guide also provides useful information on emerging risks, the evolving regulatory landscape, and includes an actions timeline of must-do steps following a breach.
Visit Experian.com/databreach to download the free guide.