Tue 24th Nov 2015
Data breach biggest crisis threat says NI Business
Pictured: Ann McGregor (Chief Executive, NI Chamber) and Laura Gillespie (Partner, Pinsent Masons)
Northern Ireland businesses fear a data security breach as the biggest corporate crisis threat according to a poll released by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry and international law firm Pinsent Masons.
With TalkTalk’s incident fresh in the public mind over four fifths (83%) of respondents identified a breakdown in information security as the corporate crisis they feared the most. The survey asked people to compare the scenario against a health & safety accident; a bribery allegation; or an environmental breach, in order of which they viewed as the greatest threat.
The results of the survey were unveiled at a joint Interactive Crisis Workshop by the NI Chamber and Pinsent Masons. Over 70 attendees were guided through real-life scenarios in a group session and then asked how they would react if their organisation experienced such threats. Experts from Pinsent Masons’ Compliance Team were on-hand to provide step-by-step practical advice.
Delegates at the breakfast seminar also had the opportunity to hear first hand from key industry regulators, Ken MacDonald (Deputy Information Commissioner Scotland & NI) and Marian Cree (NI Competition & Markets Authority NI Representative). These presentations unveiled how organisations can minimise the risk of a crisis unfolding, as well as the latest key policy developments.
Pinsent Masons Litigation & Regulatory Partner Laura Gillespie said:
“Obviously data breaches generate considerable headlines, as we have seen in recent times with the TalkTalk example. The expanding role of e-commerce and big data in businesses of all shapes and sizes could also be factor in bringing this to the fore. As Northern Ireland’s only full-service international firm we have the experience and knowledge to support clients with the specialised services required when the worst happens. Although there are a wide variety of incidents that can hit a business, the response to minimise the impact follows common principles. Our event highlighted the critical importance of having an Incident Response Plan, and maintaining it through regular review and preparation.”
Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said:
“The digital economy is growing which is why businesses remain an attractive target for cyber-attacks. Businesses should take this threat seriously in order to not only protect themselves but also their customers’ data.
“All businesses, irrespective of size, should have a robust, fully tried and tested and regularly revised contingency plan in place. Planning is important for small businesses especially since they often lack the resources to cope easily in a crisis. Failure to plan could be disastrous – at best you risk losing business whilst you recover from the crisis – or at worst your business may never recover and may ultimately cease trading.”
Slides from the event can be viewed via this link – 151124 Crisis Management Slides
Photography from the event can be viewed via this link – Crisis Management with Pinsent Masons