James Ashe, managing partner at Alias, a Cheltenham-based full service communications agency, talks to Robert Capper, partner and head of commercial, about the effect a data breach can have on brand and reputation:
“Data breaches can be very bad news for a brand – any loss of customer data, especially financial information, feels much more invasive and personal than a consumer difficulty, as one global company discovered last year.
“The company had already had major IT problems in 2017, but last year hackers stole customers’ details, including three-digit CVV security codes, via a method called ‘skimming’ which trawls for financial information.
“They issued prompt and widespread apologies, but may still be hit by a massive fine – under GDPR a company can be fined up to four per cent of turnover – and that would be in addition to any compensation customers who had suffered from resulting fraud might claim.
“Swift action, with clear communication and a clear plan of action to deal with the breach, can help to fight the fire and restore customers’ faith, but it does take time to repair the damage to a brand’s reputation.
“I will be looking at how to minimise the risk to your brand ‘if you find you have had a data breach’, at the GDPR event on May 14 at Hilton Puckrup Hall, Tewkesbury – come and join us for some practical advice, top tips and a chance to pick the experts’ brains on your GDPR business challenges.”