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The Human Side of Data Breaches

21 Jun. 2017 Posted by aadams

Heather Lukaszewski, Systems Administrator and Supervisor

All too frequently we see headlines highlighting newly discovered, sometimes high-profile information breaches.

Data being breached is often personal information: Names, passwords, credit card information, social security numbers, tax data or protected health information. This data can be private, embarrassing or damage personal reputations.

When a person’s data is breached and/or leaked in a public forum, they can experience feelings of exposure, loss of trust and insecurity. Such emotions frequently come out against the breached organization in a harsh way.

Social media has provided a public outlet for response, such as tweeting or posting a strongly worded comment on the organization’s Facebook page. These social posts can go viral and quickly make a bad situation worse. Others may choose to voice their concerns privately by contacting the organization by phone or email, asking for explanation or compensation.

As you take a closer look at your own disaster recovery plan and enforce strong information security practices, consider how you would approach the human aspect of data breaches:

  • De-escalate. In any sort of crisis, people need someone to talk to. They need an outlet for their anger, fear and worry, and a point of contact they know they can depend on.
  • Separate. Help your social media managers and phone operators redirect upset clients away from social media to a trained crisis response counselor instead.
  • Provide next steps. Depending on the type of data breached, you may offer identity protection services, ask clients to reset their passwords or provide additional authentication methods to prevent social engineering.

FEI has helped several customers with their post-data breach contact needs. We provide a call center staffed with counselors who are available as emotional support to assist employees, their families and other stakeholders handle their feelings in a way that is beneficial to both them and the organization.

We also provide inbound telephonic support, outreach campaigns to open channels of communication, and provide updates on investigation and resolution as well as the collection of and reporting on feedback received.

Repair your relationship before it is damaged by including emotional response in your disaster recovery plan. FEI helps you protect your workforce’s behavioral health and your organization’s brand.



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