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Monday, 13 August 2018 23:41

'First of its kind' Cyber Breach Communication Playbook launched for global audience

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With corporate reputations trashed by the mishandling of cyber breach communications, what is the best practice in communicating about a cyber breach that respects privacy and honours trust and ethics?

Leading cyber security and corporate communications experts Peter Coroneos and Michael Parker are about to take you on a journey from being flat-footed to fully prepared in their new book, the "Cyber Breach Communications Playbook". 

At the book's site, you're asked: "You’ve been hacked and it’s going public. How prepared are you to face the media storm that’s about to erupt?".

Given the prevalence of hacking today, it comes as no surprise that Coroneos and Parker advise that "this just might be the most important guide you read this year.

The authors, whose impressive brief bios are listed below, state that they've "seen corporate reputations trashed by the mishandling of cyber breach communications, not to mention the distress of customers as they see their personal information plundered and offered for sale on the dark web".

They say they "think there's a better way that respects privacy and honours trust and ethics. So we stepped in and wrote a book".

Noting their excitement at launching their new book, they state their belief that this is "the first of its kind specifically addressing best practice in communicating a cyber breach".

"Preserving brand & executive reputation and customer trust are its core goals."

The book offers "14 case studies (rated according to a new metric we devised), an overview of current and emerging threats, compliance considerations under new disclosure laws, five flowcharts detailing critical processes, and practical guidance on how, when and to whom to communicate a major cyber breach.

The book's site "also contains free downloads and background on the authors, as well as endorsements from other senior industry figures".

David Spence, chairman, PayPal Australia, said: "In today’s highly and widely connected world no one is fully prepared. We need more books like this to lift our cyber resilience.”

Justin Milne, chairman MYOB Holdings, Netcomm Wireless, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and dubbed "the father of broadband" in Australia, said: "Cyber crime is a genuine existential threat to all of the organisations upon which our economy depends.

"This extremely useful playbook is a weapon for the good guys and should be compulsory reading for all executive and non-executive leaders."

Kaaren Koomen, director, IBM Australia and deputy chair, NSW Telecommunications Authority, said: "Developing, in advance, a comprehensive strategy to respond to the ever present cyber threat should be part of every organisation’s risk management process.

"This Playbook is an excellent tool to help organisations consider the key steps they need to do this."

David Jones, co-founder and chief executive, Pointzi & StreetHawk and a founder of ThreatMetrix, said: "My 10 years building a global antifraud solution proved to me that breaches are the engine that drives cybercrime – this book is an essential tool for CSOs and company boards to acknowledge the deep potential risks of breach and take leadership in protection and incident response."

Half-day Cyber Breach Workshop

Coroneos and Parker also offer a half-day workshop for Boards and senior executives to tackle the cyber breach communication challenge, and state: "This is an investment in preparedness.

"The aim is to equip an empowered cyber coordination team with a strong and appropriate triage approach – with expert guidance on defining and developing communications processes and materials.

"Quick and skillful action can dramatically limit reputational damage and maintain the trust of your stakeholders and the public should a serious cyber breach occur."

We're told the half-day workshop will help ensure that:

  • All parts of your organisation align with and are committed to your cyber breach communication objectives.
  • Your organisation is oriented in a way that can create the optimal culture, toolkit and systems you will need to prepare for and respond to a cyber breach.

The workshop is "designed to make sure that there is a shared understanding of the importance of cybersecurity and an active communication and cultural posture right from the very beginning".

"Facilitation by independent experts has the advantage of amplifying concepts, imperatives and risk that may not be getting the internal traction or attention they need."

Free downloads

The Playbook contains a number of important flowcharts to guide preparation as you move to best practice. These are available here free, and also give you a sense of the approach taken in our powerful workshops.

You can also download the Table of Contents and Excerpts from the book to get a sense of the material it covers. Complete the required fields and click ACCESS FREE DOWNLOADS to gain immediate access to this material.

Here's more on the book's authors:

Peter Coroneos

Twice invited to the White House to brief the Obama Administration's national cyber security leadership on an industry wide scheme he pioneered in Australia – the icode together with its US derivative, now protects millions of broadband users from malicious activity.

Coroneos is an internationally recognised authority on cyber policy and a highly influential and innovative thought leader. He believes passionately in the power of the internet to transform humanity for the good and has strived for over 20 years to define, promote and extend the level of trust necessary for this to occur.

As chief executive of Australia's Internet Industry Association for nearly 15 years from 1997, Peter orchestrated national campaigns against malware, spam and spyware, led the creation of unique online child protection measures and was instrumental in the design of cyber legislation including the Cybercrime Act, the Spam Act and the private sector amendments to the Privacy Act. In addition, Peter contributed to the development of national and international standards for information security.

An expert adviser to Australian and US Legislative Committees on cyber security issues, Peter has addressed audiences on five continents and is a widely reported media commentator.

He currently serves as Regional Head, Asia Pacific for the Paris-based global Cybersecurity Advisors Network. He is qualified in science, education and law.

Michael Parker

Parker's career in public communication has traversed crisis and issues management, policy agenda setting, government relations and marketplace positioning strategies as well as large-scale cultural change projects.

He has been at ground zero in corporate collapses, a frontline advisor in intense, ‘take no prisoners’ battles over national resources and infrastructure and the architect of highly successful brand and policy positioning campaigns, often driven by advanced audience perception modelling.

Parker has a strong track record of providing accurate and reliable advice to CEOs and executives, and possesses the know-how required to liaise with the media in a mature and responsible way. This applies equally to positive and negative stories.

He believes that spin has no place in a good business and short cuts to gaining public trust invariably backfire. The only true way to building effective relationships is through honest, open communication — the truth, well told.

Parker is Principal Consultant and managing director of Praxis Communication

You can learn more about the Cyber Breach Communication Playbook here. 


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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