How to Communicate During a Cyberattack: Resource Sheds Light on Oft-neglected Perspective

For immediate release                           Contact:    Ed Barks
day, July 12, 2016                                               (540) 955-0600

Sooner or later, most businesses will fall victim to a cyberattack. Companies like Anthem and Target—even the Democratic National Committee—stand as testament.

However, there has been little counsel available for executives who need to communicate in the midst of such an assault—until now, thanks to a new position paper titled “The Forgotten Fear Factor: Communicating During a Hack Attack.”

The publication’s author, Ed Barks, said, “There are plenty of resources out there offering solutions—often selling them—for the technical side of the problem. And rightfully so.

“Sadly, there is precious little intelligence outlining what to say to consumers, shareholders, members, and government regulators when hackers strike. All those parties need updates from the victimized company and they need them in real time,” he added.

As Barks writes in the paper, “You have a plethora of resources at your disposal that cover certain aspects of batting back a hack attack—insurance that covers some of the damages, guidance from federal authorities as to your legal reporting requirements, and an ever-growing population of companies eager to (allegedly) protect you.

“The hard truth is, however, few if any of those resources are capable of walking you through what it takes to communicate when hackers worm their way into your systems. This paper examines that essential yet oft-ignored facet—managing the communications component of the crisis, for how you communicate with your stakeholders in the near- and long-term could spell the difference between survival and chronic struggle.”

“The Forgotten Fear Factor” contains real world advice and shows “not only what to do,” Barks continues, “but also how to prepare, even if the precise nature of your attack may be uncertain.”

The new publication serves as an adjunct to his 2015 position paper, “Beyond the Bottom Line: 20 Ways to Reduce Reputational Risk.”

As with all of his research publications, “The Forgotten Fear Factor” is available at no charge on the web site.

Ed Barks zeroes in on the messages and skills that executives need on a daily basis in order to persuade and inform their publics. They gain an enhanced reputation, more confidence, added opportunities for career advancement, and realization of long-term business goals. The former radio broadcaster is the author of The Truth About Public Speaking: The Three Keys to Great Presentations, and community organizer at The Media Training Blog. As President of Barks Communications since 1997, he has taught more than 5000 business leaders, association executives, and other experts how to succeed when they deal with the media, deliver presentations, and testify before government officials.