For several years, CSOs and CISOs have had one of the more challenging roles within enterprises. Threats are growing, new regulations and expectations are being put in place and much has happened to cause it.

Yes, CSOs and CISOs are in the customer services business to secure the electronic customer interactions that are a growing part of an enterprise’s operations. However, the cyber climate is changing, as well.

A recent report examined the implications of a cyber breach, and found that when an organization suffers a breach or breaches, the greatest areas impacted are operations and finance. And 36 percent of brands experienced damage. Even more concerning is that 30 percent experienced customer retention implications. And 26 percent experienced both!  With figures like these it is clear that CSOs and CISOs are in the customer service business these days to a greater level than ever before!  

INSIGHT:  A cyberattack resulting in the exposure of or theft of the organization’s data assets is clearly a fireable event. All of us are exposed to this issue.  

CSOs and CISOs must seek to understand the expected level of cybersecurity and breach response by the organization’s executives, business managers and customers.  Customer service can make a significant difference in the overall implications of breach events. Given that fact, we all need to work on the issue. Here are the recommended steps.

  1. Meet with legal and the operation management components and prepare for what seems to be inevitable.
  2. Present the current stats about the current state of data breaches and the risks, including the average costs per record stats that are openly available.
  3. Present the current level of cybersecurity that you have in place and what additional defenses are planned, given the current budget.
  4. Present competitor or industry segment breach information that is widely available online from reputable news sources that will be well known by those attending your meeting.
  5. Discuss with those attending your plans for the near-term and get their input and support for your vision about how best to move ahead.
  6. Present your data breach response plan to them and assure them that as soon as you suspect/confirm a breach you will let them know and get them involved.

    NOTE:  Don’t forget about third-parties that have access to your customer data and integrate the possibility of breaches initiated within their environment that impacts your data as well.

Given that multiple data breaches have cost Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) their jobs – you are not exempt. Work with your customer service team and your internal legal team to ensure everyone has input on how to should address the customer service issues created by a breach or breaches.