3 Takeaways From the TalkTalk Data Breach

British Telecom company TalkTalk’s October 2015 data breach was only one of many hitting consumers and the corporate world recently – Ashley Madison and Sony come to mind – but the lessons apply to every company, big and small.

According to news reports, nearly 157,000 customers’ private data were hacked in the attack. Even though that’s a small fraction of the company’s 4 million customers, it was still big enough for the cyber attack to make headlines.

Here are three takeaways from the TalkTalk data breach – and the three big losses that affect any business after a cyber attack.

1. You Lose Your Good Reputation

A Cyber Attack is a PR nightmare. The old adage “no publicity is bad publicity” is wrong when it comes to anything that will compromise your customers’ credit card info and personal details. In fact, you can be sure some people in countries where TalkTalk doesn’t do business had never even heard of the company – until the cyber attack. A data breach is definitely not the way you want to introduce your company to the world. Seeing your company’s name in headlines for months because you’ve been hit by a security breach is not how you want to promote your brand.

 

2. You Lose Big Money

When your data is hit, so is your bank account. TalkTalk incurred a staggering amount of nearly 60£ in damages related to the attack. That figure is almost double what the company had originally calculated would be the cost of the attack.

 

3. You Lose Old Customers and Potential New Ones

If you’re hit with a data breach that affects your customers’ private data and financial information, you can be sure to expect a mass exodus of once-happy and loyal customers. TalkTalk lost 101,000 customers after the attack. And it’s not just current customers you’ll lose. You’ll miss out on all the potential customers you could’ve earned in part with your sterling reputation – except you don’t have it anymore.

 

If you want to learn how to protect your hard-earned cash, reputation and loyal customers from hackers, check out Trust Guard. For a fraction of what a data breach could cost you, you can protect your business, your customers and your good name.

 

Karen Schmidt

Journalist turned blogger about all things ecommerce, shopping, retail and cyber security.

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