How To Reassure Clients After a Cyber Security Breach?

Business Insights

There are many things that can go wrong within a business, and today, a data breach is counted as one of the worst issues that you can face, depending on the importance and value of that data. When other businesses choose to work with you as either partners or clients, there is a general understanding that you will take good care of any sensitive data that they supply you with.

Payment information, contact details, and personal information such as financial history and medical details are all things that you should be taking the utmost care of. But sometimes, breaches do happen, even to some of the world’s largest corporations. Reducing the risk and implementing systems in which you can fix these problems quickly are the best steps you can take. But when a data breach has happened to reassure your clients and repair that relationship?

What Is a Security Breach?

Simply put, this is where a group or individual has managed to get unauthorised access to computer data or a network and can then use this data for nefarious purposes. Theoretically, even if that data isn’t used for anything bad, it’s still a breach of security and data, and these events should always be treated with extreme care.

Often, however, a security breach will be a very negative thing for your business as well as your clients, yet the risks can be reduced by implementing controls and showing that you have identified risks by ensuring you have ISO 27001 certification in place. Of course, even with this, there is still no way to guarantee protection from data breaches, and other businesses will understand this. However, you should aim to do everything you can to reduce the risk.

What Increases the Risks?

The best way to reduce risk is to first identify what can increase it. First and foremost, many of us will be aware that poor quality password protection is a leading cause of data breaches. In fact, many still use the password “password” for their accounts. This tends to be due to the assumption that nobody is going to want access to that account or device except for the authorised user, and therefore it’s best to just make it easier for them to access that account.

As well as poor user security, things like malware and vulnerabilities in network security, insider threats, and even physical attacks to steal data are all high risks. This means that poorly trained staff who fail to identify potential malware and phishing scams, poorly designed networks, and bad physical security within your office space can all increase the risk of data breaches. Showing that you’ve trained your staff is a huge part of ISO 27001 certification and the creation of a quality ISMS or Information Security Management System. This training can help to reduce the risk substantially.

Show You’re Being Proactive

One of the worst things you could do in a situation like this is nothing. If a security breach were to happen, then your clients are going to want answers, and those answers need to include what you’re planning to do to prevent this problem in the future. You can do this by ensuring you obtain ISO 27001 certification to demonstrate you are taking a more proactive approach to cyber security within your business.

The ISO 27001 certification shows that you have been able to identify any future risks and control mechanisms to reduce that risk and steps to take in the event of future security breaches. If you plan to do this yourself, you should know that it will take a long time, but using an ISO 27001 template toolkit from experts like those at High Table will make the process much more straightforward. Unfortunately, obtaining this certification is no easy task, but this demonstrates your dedication to reassuring your clients, providing them with some peace of mind.

Be Transparent

You may be tempted to keep quiet about a data breach due to the fear of how your clients will respond. However, this is only going to be more damaging in the future when the truth inevitably surfaces. This can seriously harm your company’s reputation within your industry, and so it’s imperative that you talk to your clients and reveal all of the information about this matter. During this time, it’s important to discuss your plans and goals to improve security, such as your decision to achieve an ISO 27001 certificate.

There are many steps you can take to break bad news to clients, but depending on how many clients you have, it may be worthwhile preparing a general statement for everyone to release as soon as possible. Once one client discovers the information, you’ll notice that knowledge of this problem will spread very quickly. Therefore, you should make sure you’re ahead of this so that you can direct the discussion and show that you always intended to make clients aware of this security breach.

Author: Stuart Barker | Director at High Table the ISO 27001 Company: