Is your company’s Reputation Management prepared for a Cyber Attack?
Why reputation management is important
In today’s world, your reputation has become more vulnerable than ever. Your company has the chance to connect and be transparent to its customers and stakeholders. Unfortunately, the double-edged sword of reputation management is tricky. Cyber attacks can be in a form of social media outrage or a data breach. Whatever the risk, response time becomes key in mitigating damages, improving recovery times and upholding your company’s reputation.
Aon & Pentland Analytics, Reputation risks in the Cyber Age, shows that advancing technology has transformed the crisis management landscape.
Check out the top 10 Biggest Data breaches of 2018. Not only were individuals’ private information breached, but the companies’ compromised data has long term repercussions that remains to be seen.
Still not convinced
Let’s talk numbers…
According to IBM’s recent study, mega breaches of data can go as high as $350 Million (USD). That’s just the initial fall out. Long-term effects lead to customer distrust and loss of loyalty, which are not calculated into this staggering number. In fact, a recent IBM / Harris poll report found that 75 percent of consumers in the U.S. say that they will not do business with companies that they do not trust to protect their data.
Source: IBM Data Breach Study 2018
Did I get your attention? … Good.
How do we address cyber attacks with reputation management?
Key questions to ask about your reputation management
Sure, it’s easy to gain millions of followers with your brand’s quirky and witty personality, but how fast does the crowd turn on you when a crisis is at hand?
Here are some key questions you can ask about your company. Use this to access whether you are able to respond quickly to a cyber attack and more importantly protect your reputation.
- Are you monitoring your reputation?
- Do you have a process to respond to risks against your reputation?
1. Are you monitoring your reputation?
Monitoring your reputation is a tool you can use to gauge how you’re doing in your market. As a result, using the valuable feedback, even if it’s negative, can help improve your service and product, and stay engaged with your audience. Showing your concern for better customer service can build loyalty and repeat customers.
Case in point, the United Airlines PR debacle. Remember when that video leaked of a customer being beaten and dragged off the plane? Perhaps the most poorly handled PR scandal case of 2017 and was quickly reflected by their drop in market share of 6%. The scandals kept building with the many parodies, re-tweets, and viral memes targeted at the airline’s reputation. Though the airline’s stock has recovered today, they lost millions in lawsuits, customer loyalty and employee trust that will take time to rebuild.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently. ” Warren Buffett
Technology can work for or against you. How your organization can prepare and execute a well thought out plan to address the crisis at hand, can save your reputation and more importantly your wallet.
2. Do you have a process to respond to risks against your reputation?
Accountability is the key word in monitoring reputation management. First and foremost, developing a process so that communication is shared with the right people internally and the right people are responding externally is critical in a crisis.
The figure below is inspired by EY’s six steps to addressing the importance of accountability:
Depending on your location, your industry, and your government regulations, cybersecurity can be challenging. According to IBM’s 2018 Data Breach Study, USA, Middle East and India have the highest data breaches and cyber attacks. Health and Financial services are the most vulnerable industries (See figure below).
Source: IBM- The climb ahead 2018
Activity Based Design
Once accountability is assigned based on the type of crisis, checklist activities on how to address and streamline the process will be the next step. Developing an activity based design with the right flow of information and accountability can go a long way in addressing the risk and the public. Most importantly, test the plan in an exercise setting to ensure less ambiguity in addressing different scenarios that are most likely to be faced in your line of work.
You must not only be actively reacting to threats, but you also need to be proactively building your reputation. Being proactive will ensure that even a cyber attack or other threats won’t cause irreversible reputation damage. This means determining possible threats and building protocol to handle them. Check out Harvard Business Review: Framework for Reputational Risk, that reiterates the importance of reputation management.
It’s important to note that not all threats can be evaded. Even the best reputation management will still experience repercussions. At the very least, you have prepared, and continue to measure, monitor potential problems in order to develop a quick and appropriate response. This will save valuable resources and allow business continuity i.e. critical business functions to remain intact.
Ultimately, your reputation management will help your business be prepared and resilient, cyber threat or otherwise.
Krizo makes crisis management plans simple, enabling you to respond fast and efficient to any unwanted event. Our platform centralizes communication, actions and critical information.