Cyber-Incident Response: Staying Out of the Headlines

By Paul Handy, Global Head of Cyber for Crawford Global Technical Services™.

Understanding the complexities of managing a cyber-incident is an increasingly common responsibility for corporate risk managers.

As a result, my colleagues and I involved with Crawford & Company®’s Cyber Incident Response Solution have been equally busy, helping corporates as they consider the benefits of pre-event planning and how to manage their response to ensure a breach remains just an event and, importantly, not a headline.

Paul Handy

Paul Handy: “After a cyber incident, there’s no time to lose”

Cyber risk is a clear and present danger with data breach, distributed denial of service attacks and other threats increasingly on our radar.

Our role is key to providing the reassurances corporates demand from an insured solution. Sitting within the loss transfer and post-breach response space, Crawford® provides tailored service solutions to reflect our client’s chosen operating models, specific needs or cultural practices.

This approach is pivotal because it supports risk managers in protecting their business (and brand); managing a crisis; mitigating risk; instructing and managing experts; ensuring effective communication; and ultimately achieving a successful resolution of any (potential) claim in line with chosen risk transfer or insurance arrangements.

The events or claims we deal with are often brand-threatening, but do we fully appreciate their potential complexity?

It can be helpful to look at things within context. What is the difference between a notable cyber event, such as a data breach at a major retailer or financial institution, and losses that stem from a market-recognised natural catastrophe?

Under no circumstances do we want to belittle human and personal tragedy suffered during a hurricane or an earthquake, but the incident response requirement after a significant data breach goes beyond the traditional involvement of emergency services.

When instruction for a typical property or physical damage claim is received, an adjuster deals with pressing issues and makes an appointment with the customer. This, of course, occurs after the fire is out or the dust has settled.

With a cyber-incident, you do not have the luxury to wait. Response needs to be immediate, carefully managed and expert-led. Murphy’s Law says anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.  There’s a new “cyber addition” to Murphy’s Law that suggests news of a data breach will emerge at 3 p.m. Friday. It’s a racing certainty the better known the brand—the higher up the story on that day’s 6 o’clock news.

Three hours is probably a generous estimate as to how quickly a story like this might escalate and become headline news. If that happens, you certainly don’t want to be asking questions such as ‘Am I insured?’ or ‘Whom should I call to help?’

Experian Consumer Services and Crawford have jointly produced a Data Breach Response Guide that aims to help you get to grips with the fact there is no perfect security, but you can always be prepared. In this guide, we not only analyse the need for businesses to have a data breach response plan, but also take you step-by-step through its preparation, implementation and ongoing improvement. Equipped with the information, insight and tools you need to protect your organisation from cybercrime, you can look to the future with confidence.

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