Communications play a pivotal role in responding to cyberattacks and can help mitigate the potential reputation damage such attacks often cause. A structured and effective communication strategy is essential to respond to the intricate and often volatile nature of cyber threats.

Cyberattacks breed uncertainty, and without clear, timely communication from the attack victim, misinformation may proliferate, exacerbating the impact of the attack. Establishing a reliable channel of communication helps to counteract the spread of rumours and maintain a semblance of control over the narrative.

Cyberattacks require quick responses as they are often reported by news outlets before an organisation is ready to speak publicly. The technical complexity of such attacks also means details may not be clear or accurate for months. Ideally your organisation can release a clear and informed statement to their stakeholders before any story is misconstrued. This will help mitigated potentially significant repercussions.

A comprehensive crisis communications plan should be part of all organisations’ cybersecurity toolkit. It needs to address your audiences, from the general public to internal stakeholders. Tailoring the message to each audience ensures pertinent information is disseminated appropriately, fostering a sense of understanding and cooperation. This preparation can help to diffuse high emotion situations where stakeholders have had their personal data stolen and leaked including to the dark web. If a public relations team is available to your business, you can access their services and expertise as one of your expert advisers during the crisis period.

During this type of fast-moving crisis, organisations may have difficulty balancing the conflict between transparent communication with their stakeholders and avoiding an admission of liability. The key to this conflict is to be honest about what your organisation knows at various points of the investigation and provide consistent updates to them.

To welcome everyone back in the New Year, Sainty Law will be conducting an interview with Barbara Sharp an expert in crisis communication and reputation and stakeholder strategy, Barbara is the founder of Ready Crisis Comms for Cyber, an expert crisis communications consultancy.

Barbara will share her perspective on the importance of crisis readiness to deliver an effective crisis response to cyberattacks and how to achieve best practice crisis readiness so your business is prepared, when it matters.

Stayed tuned for this Insight, and in the meantime, have a safe and happy holiday season and new year from the team at Sainty Law.