Data breaches are a real threat for any business; with recent, high-profile cases underscoring the possible repercussions on customers and brand. In the event of a breach, being well prepared better positions you to respond rather than react. Davina Myburgh, Head of Emerging Solutions at TransUnion explains how an effective breach response strategy can help reduce the impact of a security incident and maintain trust in your brand.
Once upon a time, the only cybersecurity issue in the public eye was clicking a suspicious link and triggering a virus. Today, sophisticated attack methods, such as social engineering, ransomware, and cracking and manipulating the Internet of things, can leave organisations vulnerable to new types of risk.
It’s no longer enough to focus on preventing unintentional access or exposure of proprietary systems or confidential information. As noted in a related blog, organisations need a comprehensive solution to manage a data breach — and its potential outcomes — proactively, efficiently and effectively.
If a breach occurs, time is of the essence, but a reactive approach can be detrimental to your business. Being prepared strengthens your ability to quickly protect your customers and keep trust in your brand intact. It also helps reduce financial losses: Global research has shown organisations with a data breach response plan save an average of $340,000 USD per incident.1
Globally, the average time to identify a data breach is 280 days (over 9 months). Once organisations affirm a breach, the sooner they contact and assist customers the better. While each incident is unique, it's beneficial to have processes and partnerships in place to help reduce potential impacts.
You can also educate your customers about managing their credit, preventing identity compromise, and seeking help if they fall victim. Online resources offering knowledgeable and credible answers to queries can be of value and support customers throughout the remediation. The process can take several months and significantly impact your day-to-day operations if run internally.
Risk scores. The TransUnion Educational Consumer Risk Score shows different factors affecting a consumer’s score in a way that’s easy to understand. Activities such as an increase in credit enquiries or the opening of new credit accounts may produce a corresponding drop in their score and prompt investigations.
Credit reports. Credit reports provide a snapshot of a consumer’s credit information, including credit and payment history. This additional insight allows consumers to spot fraudulent activity without access to a credit monitoring solution. For this reason, TransUnion’s data breach protection solutions give consumers unlimited access to their credit score and credit report — both updated daily.
Credit monitoring. Ongoing credit monitoring can be beneficial during remediation. Consumers are alerted to key changes on their credit report (new credit enquiries, new account openings, delinquency or derogatory payment behaviour), empowering them to quickly identify and enquire about suspicious activities. TransUnion’s breach protection solutions also include ”monthly credit alert summary” notifications — confirming no key changes have taken place on a credit report over the last 30 days.
Regardless of the demographic or scale of the incident, a comprehensive, flexible data breach response solution can help protect your customers and reputation, mitigate potential damages, and rebuild trust and confidence.
Learn more about TransUnion’s solutions
TransUnion is a global insights and data provider that reports the financial and credit information of approximately 25 million credit-active South Africans. Our technology and data capabilities allow us to develop innovative solutions that assist organisations with breach response plans for different consumer demographics.