With the recent introduction of GDPR, it’s a natural progression that cybercriminals have become increasingly sophisticated. Most organisations realise that a data breach isn’t a matter of ‘if’, it’s now ‘when’.
Instinctively, companies tend to focus their resources and efforts on containing a breach, instead of on their most important asset – their customers.
Its customers that are in need of protection during a breach, and lack of doing so may result in not only the loss of those customers, but in hefty fines, as well as a damaging hit to your reputation.
So, how do you protect your customers during a breach?
- Notify your customers
As well as notifying the ICO (if it is a reportable breach), without any delay, the first step is to notify those that have been affected. Tell them that this breach is likely to create a privacy risk for them and tell them that you plan on supporting and protecting them over the upcoming weeks.
- Prepare internal operations
Pressure on your resources will soon start to appear. Breaches lead to a spike in customer concerns and enquiries, so having enough internal support is critical at this time to keep your reputation in place. Having long “call waiting” queues can quickly lead to negative social media posts, which is, of course, best avoided.
- Support customers with accurate responses
Everybody in the company must know their role and be prepared to respond quickly and effectively to customer demands and wishes. From fast and reassuring social media responses to identity protection, each role must be coordinated with military precision and in a timely manner. Customer support is critical at this time.
- Minimise impact on customers
Quality of response is just as important as speed of notification. A high capacity incident response website and a phone system that can quickly and securely route calls and emails is key to reducing impact on customers. If this isn’t possible, consider outsourcing to professionals who deal with this regularly and improve your customer care.
- Have an identity protection strategy in place
This strategy should encompass everything from access to credit monitoring and fraud alerts to specialist identity repair support services. This will help reassure your customers that absolutely everything is being done to protect them.
Undeniably, the best way to protect your customers is to be well-prepared for a breach. Ensuring that you have plans and strategies in place and that members of your team know what to do (and when), is absolutely critical for protecting your customers and your business.
A customer-centric approach to data breaches will make your company, rather than break it.
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