Data Security

Data Breach Response: Addressing the biggest challenge in tech

What will 2017 been remembered for?

Two words – data breaches. This year has seen dozens of high profile data breaches and millions of people affected, across every vertical sector. For context, 2016 saw over three billion records caught up in hacks, ransoms and even extortion. And this year is on track to leap-frog last year’s record.

But why are data breaches making more headlines than ever before?

The elephant in the room

Undoubtedly one of the main reasons is the nature, scale and profile of the breaches. However, the secondary trigger – GDPR. From May 2018 companies in Europe or who operate in Europe will be more accountable for their handling of customers personal information and indeed how they keep this information safe.

You’re reading this thinking “I know, it’s all over the news!”, what you might not know – it’s no longer simply about keeping customer data safe and available at consent, the speed and quality of response is equally as important.

Most businesses believe they have a good level of breach prevention in place for May 2018, however FTSE 100 companies could still face fines of up to £5 billion a year.  So, what’s the secret sauce of keeping fines low and the regulators appeased in the undoubtable event of a breach?

“Hear ye, Hear ye” – notifying your customers of a breach

Yet, notification is only the first headache for an underprepared organisation.

Batten down the hatches

The public reporting of breaches will trigger tidal waves of customer calls, calls that your staff are ill prepared and undertrained for, leaving your call centre infrastructure unable to support the onslaught of calls. The reason for this – institutions that rely on their own general purpose in-house customer services teams will find them overwhelmed by not only the volume but the nature of customer calls – leading to loss of customers, bad media coverage and reputational damage.

With all this in mind, organisations need to take a step back and plan how to address one of the biggest issues in tech – data breach response.

Here are the three things you need to consider when evaluating your organisations’ readiness:

  • Failing to plan is planning to fail – evaluate current plans, identify where the gaps are, and run tests and scenarios to ensure your plan stand up to a live breach at the scale and speed required for success.
  • All hands-on deck – evaluate how to contact your customers, what is your plan of notifying them of the breach? Do you have the technology to ensure secure and verified communication?
  • “Hello, how can I direct your call?” – integrate external expertise. Ensure your organisation has the man power and trained staff that can spring into action at any given moment to give the best possible customer experience after a breach.

Sound complicated and time consuming? Luckily, you’re not alone. Our experience within this sector has helped us successfully handle over 5,000 data breaches, including the three largest customer breach response operations in history. Giving us the expertise to help you prepare and respond better to data breaches.

Don’t believe us? Check out the The Forrester Wave™: Customer Data Breach Notification and Response Services, Q4 2017 where we’ve been named one of two leaders within the industry!

For more information on how we can navigate the minefield of data breach response, visit