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July 04, 2011

PRSA: Disclosure is Key to Rebuilding Reputation Following Cyberattacks — PRMoment.com Op-Ed

Writing for UK trade publication PRMoment.com, PRSA Chair and CEO Rosanna M. Fiske, APR, advocated for more timely and transparent disclosure from firms that are victims of cyberattacks in an op-ed published July 4, 2011. Fiske writes that in order to protect customers and the public, and to rebuild trust in a company, "it’s incumbent upon a business to reciprocate [a] level of trust" that is equal to or greater than that which its customers afford it.

She goes on to say, "The [cyberattack] trend is disconcerting. Equally disturbing is the lack of transparent and timely disclosure from affected organisations, particularly regarding the impact on customer data and what is being done to thwart future attacks. Unfortunately, most cyber attacks are met with initial silence by the aggrieved firm, followed slowly, at a trickling rate, with a few scant details."
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How to Maintain Your Comapny's Reputation After a Cyberattack
By Rosanna M. Fiske, APR
PRMoment.com
Published: July 4, 2011
Recent weeks have seen a surge of high-profile cyber attacks. From the well-documented hack into Sony’s PlayStation network to the most recent revelation that the International Monetary Fund has suffered a “large and sophisticated” attack of its servers, cyber attacks on multinational firms are coming rapidly, and often without warning. 
 
This trend is disconcerting. Equally disturbing is the lack of transparent and timely disclosure from affected organisations, particularly regarding the impact on customer data and what is being done to thwart future attacks. Unfortunately, most cyber attacks are met with initial silence by the aggrieved firm, followed slowly, at a trickling rate, with a few scant details.
 
To be sure, cyber attacks are not new. While groups like Anonymous and Lulz have gained international notoriety following their hacks on Sony and the US Senate, respectively, their dubious work has precedent. Cyber attacks date back to the 1960s, when “phone freaks” or “phreakers” would use “blue boxes” as tone generators to make free phone calls over the AT&T telephone network.
 
What was once considered a nuisance, at best, has turned into a massive problem for businesses and the public. But that problem is being exacerbated by a lack of transparent communications from affected firms as to what impact attacks are having on customer data.
 

Read the rest of the op-ed at PRMoment.com.
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