In this privacyespresso, we discussed with Christina Forsgård, founder of Netprofile, a company focusing on tech clients’ reputation in crisis and cyber crisis preparation, managing and recovering, about how to deal with cyber crisis and why it is so essential to get prepared for it.
How can companies deal with a cyber crisis?
According to Christina, companies miss what they need the most in a crisis situation: time. During a crisis, people cannot think or plan activities properly due to the many emotions coming into play. This impedes people from acting right and fast, risking fueling the crisis instead of mitigating it. For this reason, companies should implement:
- Ready-made lists that can put emotions aside and make anyone capable of acting in the best possible way (having a plan to stick with calms people down and make the coordination and response smoother).
- Creating “trust capital” with stakeholders and shareholders. This would benefit the company from the doubt and the #trust necessary to solve the issue without losing the clients.
Another tricky part for companies to understand is the relevance of #reputation. Reputation can easily be translated into money through the stock market. The stock market looks for the company’s future capabilities to decide if to trust/invest in it. If the reputation is high or stable, the stock market may very well grow, but when there is a crisis, the stock market normally sinks as the reputation is challenged, so it is the company’s future. If the company is not capable of managing a crisis, no one will invest in it. On the contrary, if the company appears prepared and well protected the company can gain or at least keep its stakeholders’ trust.
Similarly. a small company may not be in the stock market but may go bankrupt by losing its reputation.
Where should companies start to get prepared for a crisis?
- The first exercise for companies is to think about possible risk scenarios to prevent a crisis.
- Another relevant exercise would be to map the stakeholders to understand who they are and how to keep their trust, as that is the trust that the company will need when the crisis comes.
- Creating a dedicated goal team of pre-selected experts to solve the situation is essential. Companies don’t have time and clear thinking to take such a decision once the crisis is started. In a crisis, the company needs hardcore leadership, and the roles need to be established beforehand.
- Creation of a holding statement. The company need to have some pre-established lines and words to be used to communicate in a temporary and uncertain situation. This is key to gaining time and preventing the problem from worsening.
Christina’s approach is to prepare for the worst, as companies prepared for the worst-case scenario are the only ones really prepared to tackle any crisis.