ASSERT Your Cyber Strength

10 October 2018

Compromised data compromises goodwill. As the public wakes up to how much of its data is in circulation, how long it can be stored and how much value it has, they are rightly demanding that it be properly secured.

Consequently, a data breach has become one of the biggest threats to an organisation's reputation.

As with other crises, it is not necessarily the data breach that damages reputation but the way in which that breach was managed that can tarnish the reputation long after the facts of the story have been forgotten. Conversely, a well-managed response to a data breach can engender trust and enhance an organisation's reputation. 

The focus of any cyber incident response plan should be on protecting individuals and their personal data. To help businesses ASSERT their cyber strength and with it their resilience to a cyber attack and/or data breach, Schillings has devised the following six-point plan.

  1. Awareness training - Customised awareness training should be put in place along with internal support for your Incident Response Team.
  2. Simulation – Attacks from Ransomware or phishing emails and other sorts of social engineering should all be periodically rehearsed to test infrastructure security as well as your Incident Response Team’s ability to react quickly and cohesively.
  3. Scanning – Your organisation’s network and website should be regularly scanned for vulnerabilities as should the digital footprints of the senior leadership and primary stakeholders.
  4. Ethical hack - An ethical hack should be commissioned to provide a real-time simulated attack on the company to assist in awareness training and ensure that all the employees appreciate the value of the data they are handling.
  5. Resilience - An analysis of the risks associated with all the possible sources of attack from bad leavers to competitors, Hacktivists etc and how they might be mitigated.
  6. Team - Your Incident Response Team should be regularly rehearsed and clear in their roles and reporting commitments.

To learn more about the importance of an Incident  Response Team and what is required to create one, click here.

Despite the increasing complexity of some data breaches and the shift in tone of the surrounding media attention, it remains possible to regain the trust of stakeholders if a data breach is well managed. Each case is fact-sensitive and will require a considerable degree of improvisation. As with other business crises, the more that the predictable elements have been anticipated and rehearsed the better able the organisation will be to manage the unpredictable elements. 

Receive our monthly newsletter

About the Author


646 934 6219
Our 24 hour number
646 934 6219
Legal information

© 2018 Schillings International LLP. SCHILLINGS is a trading name of Schillings International LLP and Schillings International (USA) LLP.

Schillings International LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registration number OC398731. A list of members of Schillings International LLP is available for inspection at our registered office 41 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3HX. Schillings International LLP is an Alternative Business Structure regulated and authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Schillings International (USA) LLP is a registered limited liability partnership organised and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware, United States of America, whose principal place of business is at One World Trade Center, Suite 8500, New York, NY 10007. We are registered as a foreign legal correspondent in the State of New York.