Data is an organization’s most valuable asset. As hackers become craftier and cyber attacks become less expensive to implement, all the while growing in size, frequency and complexity, it is no longer an option for organizations across all industries to have a comprehensive understanding of how to protect themselves and their customers. If an enterprise falls victim to a hack, not only do they risk exposure of proprietary information and potential reputational damage, but it could also cost immeasurable financial damage. As noted in Forbes, cyber crime costs quadrupled from 2013 to 2015 and that figure is projected to quadruple again from 2015 to 2019. Given the state of this evolving and increasingly threatening environment, it is imperative that cyber security protection and mitigation strategies become staples in crisis communications plans so that in the event a breach does occur, they are prepared to tackle it and come out unscathed.

During this year’s Internet Week in NYC, Affect and LIFARS hosted a panel of experts including Robert Walsh, Special Agent, Electronic Crimes Task Force, United States Secret Service; Jeremy Tillman, Director of Product Management, Ghostery; Ondrej Krehel, CEO, LIFARS; Katie Creaser, VP, Affect; and John P. Scordo, Partner, K&LGates. The goal of the event was for guests to walk away with an enlightened perspective on best practices for enterprise data protection that could be brought back to their organizations, as well as to achieve a clearer understanding of today’s threat landscape straight from the experts.

Moderator Joshua Brustein, Correspondent, Bloomberg Businessweek, guided the conversation with the panelists to tackle topics including the changing arena for hacktivists, regulation and compliance for cyber security, the next wave of data threats, and how companies should act when faced with a data breach.

Some of the key takeaways from the panel included:

  • Develop a robust data protection plan and conduct practice “hack” drills as part of the organization’s crisis communications plan.
  • Evaluate the data you have and whether you should keep it. Even data that hasn’t been viewed in years could yield a potential hack.
  • It is imperative that everyone, from the average person to IT pros learn how to control and manage their own privacy.
  • It’s the individual’s responsibility to understand where your data goes and who has access to it.
  • Customers are of the highest priority during a data breach.
  • If your customers’ information is obtained during a hack, be honest, empathetic, compassionate, and apologetic within your communication to them.

Thanks to all who came out to the panel this week! We hope you found the conversation insightful and practical.

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