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The IT Pro Podcast: The myth of reputational damage

Is reputational damage from a data breach really worth worrying about?

IT Pro Podcast: The myth of reputational damage

When it comes to data breaches, one of the most common warnings is that in addition to the potential fines, business disruption and data loss that can occur as the result of a successful hack, the damage to a victim’s reputation can be as bad, if not worse. The commonly-accepted wisdom is that, should you leave yourself open to a cyber attack, customers and partners alike will lose trust in your ability to safeguard their data, and will abandon you in droves.

However, there are numerous examples over the last few years of companies who have suffered extremely serious data breaches - often through lax cyber security practices - and appear to have suffered little to no long-term consequences. Whether it’s Ashley Madison, Equifax, Marriott or British Airways, there are plenty of organisations for whom this oft-mentioned reputational damage doesn’t seem to have been very damaging after all.

So what effect does a data breach have on a company’s reputation? How does it compare to the operational impacts of a breach? And should companies be concerned about reputational damage in the first place? In this episode, we’re joined by Dr. Rois Ni Thuama, head of cyber governance at Red Sift, to discuss the topic.

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