As most business environments continue evolving, companies in the cybersecurity industry need to continue adapting to any potential threats that are posed by cyberattacks. Plenty of businesses have become increasingly vulnerable to a number of cyberattacks which have grown in both complexity and scale, including deep fakes, ransomware, and phishing scams.
Additionally, with the increased exposure that companies have been facing because of their largely remote workforces, and the increased regulatory scrutiny that requires most companies to start reporting any cyberattacks within 72 hours of an incident, many businesses have been under a lot of pressure to get a better handle on threats in real-time. The risk of reputational damage that a company can face because of cyberattacks can’t be overstated, and the best way for companies to navigate any cyberattacks is through effective preparedness and plans.
Before a cyberattack ever happens, companies need to ensure that they’ve identified and assessed any risks they might currently have, as well as have business continuity plans in place. To do that, companies need to audit their business operations, protocols, and policies for potential cyberattacks, and ensure that they have a secure channel for communication. Companies can also increase their preparedness levels through crisis simulations, training, and testing out different communication protocols that need to happen during a crisis situation. They can also create a cyberattack plan, as well as include different scenarios in that plan that are going to be based on the crisis communications plan the company already has.
During a cyberattack, companies need to get their crisis PR team to start working with the IT and legal departments to ensure that there is sufficient reporting and due diligence between everyone. When companies are able to integrate multidisciplinary teams of professionals or experts that are going to be managing all crisis communication, they can more effectively navigate a cyberattack. Businesses can also plan and implement communication channels with their stakeholders, employees, the public, as well as anyone that’s relevant to the crisis. Additionally, through social media, as well as media intelligence, companies can better manage their reputation when they’re going through a crisis because the information that they generate from those channels can be used to better inform their crisis strategy, and understand how they need to move in the future.
Once a cyberattack has been dealt with and the situation is over, companies need to take several steps to be able to rebuild their public reputation through messaging and communication. That entails regaining the trust and confidence that the consumers or stakeholders had in the business beforehand. Additionally, companies also need to analyze, evaluate, and review the cyberattack, figure out if there were any gaps in communication, how the situation could have been handled better, and reviewed the state of their reputation at the moment.