Hacks for Preventing a Data Breach: Crisis Management Expert Visits Tallahassee

Hacks for Preventing a Data Breach: Crisis Management Expert Visits Tallahassee
Hacks for Preventing a Data Breach: Crisis Management Expert Visits Tallahassee
Posted at 10:09 AM, May 25, 2017

Tallahassee, Fla., (WTXL)- With institutions like the Democratic National Convention, and the Department of Justice (and recently the Florida Department of Agriculture) falling victim to cyber attacks, experts say any business can be a target. That's why it's important for executives, owners, and public relations professionals to stop wondering if a hack will happen, and instead prepare for when it does. 

"If you look at the news any day of the week you see a company's data being hacked, it's happening more and more often everyday. It's a serious situation," Jay Morgan-Schleuning, the President of the Florida Public Relations Association's Capital chapter says, "Whether you are a PR professional, a business owner or an executive, this is something that you have to deal with. You have to learn how to deal with it in your business. If your data is hacked, you have a very short period of time to deal with that. And if you do it incorrectly, it can damage the reputation of your company."

That's why the Florida Public Relations Association held a seminar in Tallahassee on Thursday. For the event, they brought in Sandra Fathi, the president and founder of Affect, a public relations, marketing, and social media agency in New York.

Fathi took center stage at the Goodwood Museum to arm businesses in the big bend against digital breaches. 

"One of the biggest things that we talk about is not the communication plan if it [a breach] happens, but the plan for communicating prior to it happening." Fathi says, "The biggest vulnerability that people usually have are their employees who unwittingly may leave the door open to a data breach. So that communication beforehand is critical." 

A data breach, if handled incorrectly, can be detrimental to a company's reputation. 

"There are a number of types of data breaches, when you think about the information that you give a company, for example when you are online, you share some of your most valuable information with a company, and you trust that company to do the right thing." Morgan-Schleuning says, "Sometimes things just happen, data is hacked, and that's why its so important for businesses to respond quickly."

If you give private information to a company whose data is compromised, experts recommend that you start monitoring your financial information, prepare to report suspicious activity to law enforcement, and check your credit score frequently.