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Post-Data Breach Reputation Building

Data Breach
Data Breach

You WILL be hacked. Remember that mantra if you’re a business. Business leaders need to realize the effect that a data breach would have on customers and clients—an aftermath of distrust which can take a lot of time and money to rebuild.

Interactions is a customer experience marketing group that released a study called “Retail’s Reality: Shopping Behavior After Security Breaches.” One of the findings is that 45 percent of shoppers don’t trust retailers with their personal information. Following a data breach, 12 percent of faithful shoppers cease shopping at that store, and 36 percent shop there less. And 79 percent of those who’d continue shopping there would more likely use cash—which means buying less.

So that’s a retailer’s worst nightmare: Non-trusting customers who are spending less (not to mention the ones who quit shopping there altogether).

This leaves retailers with two options: prevent all data breaches (not an attainable goal) or devise a plan to minimize the disastrous aftermath.

Communication and transparency with customers is crucial in the aftermath of a breach. Customers want to know that a company will rise to the occasion in the event of a breach and are more interested in how the retailer will deal with the fallout, rather than how a retailer will prevent it. After all, consumers tend to realize that hacking these days is just a part of life.

Companies should not wait till a breach occurs to figure out how to retain customer trust; they should plan ahead. Companies should be able to assess the risk related to the data they collect and have a breach response plan in place prior to a data breach.

The IT department is often on center stage following a breach, but marketing, customer service, and HR departments are also very important.

The departments should pool together to come up with a plan to reassure customers that their security is the top priority and that should a breach occur, they will do everything possible to protect their customers and restore any and all accounts that are compromised as a result.

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to AllClearID. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video. Disclosures.