Feds Get Serious About How and When Companies Communicate Cyber Incidents

The ubiquity of cybercrime has made communication about it a subspecialty that PR pros need to acquire. Or they must hire communicators and lawyers with knowledge of cyber jargon, technology, rules and regulations.

In general, PR pros are urged to communicate about cybercrime using the basics of crisis communication. Disclose facts clearly, promptly, authentically and transparently. Apologize genuinely to victims as you acknowledge the situation’s severity. And communicate procedures you’re instituting to prevent future crises.

Yet there are differences between communicating about cyberattacks and garden-variety PR crises. First, the communicator must walk a fine line on transparency. It’s often unclear in the early stages how much damage a hacker’s done. Of course, consumers want to know if their data was compromised. Sometimes it’s just not clear.

There’s another transparency issue.


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