Almost at hyper-speed, the year-old Target and JP Morgan cyber breaches are already in the rear-view mirror. Even Sony Pictures, the U.S. military’s Central Command, and Home Depot cyber breaches – all recent – are fading from headlines and public memory. That’s because there’s a new, scarier breach headline every week:
- The Anthem Health Blue Cross breach earlier this month exposed for the first time the confidential health and personal data of tens of millions of customers. It has already spawned the first consumer lawsuits. And there is growing concern the threat may spread to other healthcare companies.
- Automakers are under the microscope over potential hacking into individual cars’ wireless systems.
We see the speed and proliferation of ever-more-daring breaches shifting organizations’ attention from prevention to anticipation.
- According to InformationWeek, “[The Anthem] mega breach is just the start of a trend… as attackers move from harder-to-attack financial targets to still-lucrative lower-hanging fruit. And with so many stores of valuable patient information, an industry based in information-sharing among large and small businesses and a culture that doesn’t prioritize IT security, healthcare is a very juicy piece of fruit.”
- Only one among 16 auto manufacturers was able to detect an automobile’s security breach in progress through the vehicle’s Bluetooth or OnStar wireless system, according to a report by Senator Ed Markey (D- MA), and only two were able to identify effective methods to respond to the attack.
What’s the takeaway for professional communicators? At CommCore we suggest:
- Just because your industry hasn’t been a prime hacking target yet like banking and retail sales, doesn’t mean you won’t be in hackers’ crosshairs soon. The adage our IT clients use: There are 2 types of organizations: Those that have been hacked and know it; those that have been hacked and don’t know it.
- Just because someone in IT believes it’s time to shore up your cyber defenses in new ways, doesn’t mean your communications function is primed to respond effectively to a breach. Breaches will present communicators with complex communications with internal stakeholders and external publics including law enforcement, regulators, customers, and the legal community.
Coordinate with IT, risk management and legal teams on planning so you can make sure the crisis communications plan is in sync with their cyber-defense developments.