We learned about the hacking threat to banks a while ago, but now the threat is much more more widespread. Citibank was hacked in May (and waited a month to tell people), Sony Playstation was the victim of a hack job that could cost it $1 billion, PBS was hacked with a story that brought back both Tupac and Biggie, and Sega has announced a breach. Add to that, two big names in data breach — LulzSec and Anonymous — have issued a release saying that they’re joining forces to “attack any government or agency that ‘crosses their path.’”
LulzSec says that hackers will be targeting classified government information with this Operation Anti-Security, but judging from the companies have fallen victim, the group isn’t against going after anyone it has an issue with. The statement also encourages the use of the term “AntiSec” in any hack job and graffiti with that tag.
Businesses, brands, and organizations, we’ll say it again: Get your crisis comms plan ready.
Consumers have been concerned about identity theft and ongoing issues with privacy for some time now. More than ever, they’re going to take a company’s level of high-tech protection into account when deciding which sites to share personal information.
And if an attack does happen, they’ll be looking for information quickly and concisely to know what steps they should take to prevent a bigger personal issue from arising.
PR teams need to be working with other groups — marketing, technology departments, etc — to discuss the actions a company has taken to keep data safe and share it publicly if it’s appropriate. And there should be a plan prepared or in the works that will quickly alert impacted customers of a breach should it arise.
This is a 21st century issue that impacts PR plans as much as any other digital issue. PR teams must be prepared.