Massive data breaches have become an expected holiday season event. This week, a BuzzFeed contributor listed the 10 biggest “hacks” of 2014 (eBay, the USPS, etc.), and the bad publicity stemming from these security failures can be especially damaging during the year’s biggest shopping period.
Retailers have different approaches in defending their reputations after these breaches. Target, for example, sent its CEO to CBS to call the trend “an industry issue” while its CMO displayed its social media “war room” on CNN. Home Depot blamed Microsoft Windows, and other retailers have pointed fingers at credit card companies themselves for failing on the security front.
The question, for retailers and the PR firms/internal teams telling their stories to the public is: what’s the most effective way to balance transparency regarding data security with the need to protect one’s reputation among a skeptical public?
Five industry veterans give us their takes after the jump.