How a cyberattack crisis requires a different comms response

With the increase in ransomware attacks and data leaks posing a reputational threat to organizations of all sizes, here’s how communicators can help their team prepare.

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It’s not a question of “if,” but rather “when.” That’s the mindset for most organizations when it comes to preparing for a cyberattack or data leak.

As hackers have become more sophisticated, in some cases state-sponsored, and as work-from-home has rendered organizations more vulnerable to attack, the focus on cyber crisis response has grown. Companies generally didn’t have cyber-specific crisis response plans in the past.

That’s changed.

“There are specific aspects of a cyberattack that requires a much more detailed and specific approach to how you manage communication during that type of crisis,” explains Ted Birkhahn, co-founder and president for Hot Paper Lantern.

Ted Birkhahn

“Communicators are starting to realize: ‘I need a plan in place that I can use that’s specifically tailored to dealing with a cyberattack and how those typically unfold.’”

What’s unique about cyber crises

What makes a cyberattack so different from another crisis that a brand or organization might face? Birkhahn offers a few suggestions that are generally shared by cyberattack situations, even though no two events are exactly the same.

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