How to avoid losing customer trust following a Cyber attack

Cyber breaches and security attacks are very common these days. Recently, Yahoo confirmed a data breach that compromised 500 million users accounts. Another company, ADP recently experienced a security attack that revealed the payroll, tax and other confidential details of nearly 640,000 businesses. With data breaches on the increase, it is no longer of a question of if, but when your business becomes a victim to such an attack.

Cyber-attacks, if not well managed, inflict a heavy blow to customer confidence and trust. This is especially true if confidential information such as financial and social security details get exposed. Having a good solution in place to recover your data quickly is one of the best counter-breach strategies to adopt. Let’s consider a few other ways businesses can reach out to their customers in such cases and ensure their trust stays intact.

Don’t Cover Up

It’s usually tempting to keep information about a security breach under wraps and hope this minimizes the impact on your profit or brand. Unfortunately, covering up rarely works out well – it only worsens the situation when the truth is eventually out. Coming clean from your side shows accountability and tells customers your business cares more about them compared to making profits. A study found customers are often understanding when it comes to businesses committing mistakes and close to 93% of them believes coming clean during such mishaps reflects positively about the company.

Explain What Went Wrong & measures taken to prevent reoccurrence

Many businesses understand the need to apologise when mistakes happen. This is a great step – but avoid using ‘PR-speak’ in your apology. Instead, explain to your customers how the security breach occurred, the measures you’d taken before the incident and the additional steps taken to avoid reoccurrence of such incidents. By taking the time to discuss the steps taken, customers can be better informed about your operations and feel more assured to trust your business and services.

Avoid Security Theater

Most businesses often make the mistake of resolving customer trust issues through a “security theatre” what this does is, it builds product features that make it seem like the product is more secure than it really is. Setting-up ridiculously complex password rules is an example. According to Sandra Jones, a marketing expert, “such an exercise can create a false sense of security among customers and may make them complacent and more vulnerable to future attacks. Always focus on real security enhancements like advanced encryption or multi-factor authentication.”
Clients are likely to give businesses the benefit of doubt when security breaches happen for the first time – your apologies and explanations no longer bring back your credibility when such breaches happen again. It is therefore important you take absolute fool-proof measures to prevent reoccurrence and build your customers’ trust in your services.

Engage your customers through a generous bug bounty program

One good way to build confidence among your customers is by making them a part of your security advancement process. You can do this by launching a generous bug bounty program. Such measures allow your customers to take the role of ethical hackers and try to find loopholes in your system or program. Through this, not only do you get more people interested in securing your infrastructure, but you may also end up uncovering bugs that your in-house teams failed to discover.