In a previous post, we discussed the importance of having a backup and disaster recovery plan in case cybercriminals attack your Toronto business with ransomware. We illustrated how such a plan will minimize the damage that ransomware can cause to your internal processes. Unfortunately, if you do suffer a data breach, you’ll likely need to face your customers and do external damage control as well.
There’s no point in fixing your operations if your customers are too spooked to continue doing business with you. To regain their trust and confidence in you, here’s what you need to do:
Investigate with urgency and disclose the data breach as soon as you need to
You need to first establish the scope of the breach. Then, determine whether or not the type of customer data that was compromised can significantly bring harm to your customers if such data was misused. To illustrate, information that is available on public records will cause much less harm than credit card and bank account information.
Furthermore, you’ll need to identify and notify every individual who can be adversely affected by the breach, but you’ll want to limit your disclosure only to them. This is so that they can take appropriate courses of action and not cause needless anxiety among those who aren’t affected by the breach.
Show your customers that you are solving the problem
Inspire confidence in your business once more by relaying to your customers that you are doing everything you can to resolve all the issues brought about by the breach. Show them that you’re implementing your backup and disaster recovery plan impeccably, and that you’re working with the proper authorities to catch the culprits and bring them to justice.
More importantly, show them that you’re taking the necessary steps to prevent data breaches from happening again.
Tailor your message to communicate effectively and show empathy
Know who your customers are so that you can communicate with them properly. For example, visually impaired customers who do not use email may prefer to be contacted over the phone instead. And customers for whom English or French are not primary languages will appreciate receiving notifications that are translated to their primary language.
Additionally, you’ll need to ascertain if you need to be extra sensitive with your messaging. For instance, let us say that hackers stole personally identifiable information of people who are being treated for critical illnesses. They and their families are already going through tough times, so an email that doesn’t consider how the news of the data breach can add to their anxieties can be read as callous and uncaring.
Provide your customers with a path forward
Assure clients that beyond doing everything to keep their data safe from future breaches, you will also provide them with the services they need to minimize their risk. If their account credentials were stolen, advise them to change their passwords immediately. If their credit card numbers were swiped, direct them to credit monitoring services and/or advise them to either freeze or cancel their accounts.
For those who need help accomplishing lengthy and complex processes, don’t hesitate to give it to them. Show them that you are with them every step of the way to regaining their peace of mind and confidence in your business.
Incentivize customers to remain with you
Data breaches can scare customers away. Moreover, your competitors will take advantage of your situation by presenting themselves as the more secure option.
To mitigate the fallout, offer your customers incentives to stay with you. Give them generous discounts, gift certificates, freely upgraded memberships, or other perks. The rewards don’t have to be expensive — just make sure these are things your customers will deeply appreciate.
Organizations across Toronto and beyond trust XBASE’s Exponentially Better™ cybersecurity services to keep them safe from data breaches. Discover exactly what we can do for your organization by scheduling a FREE consultation with us today.