Book Excerpt: The Cyber Breach Communication Playbook - Peter Coroneos & Michael Parker

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Book Excerpt: The Cyber Breach Communication Playbook - Peter Coroneos & Michael Parker - 17 August 2018

Book Excerpt: The Cyber Breach Communication Playbook - Peter Coroneos & Michael Parker

As CEO of the Internet Industry Association from 1997-2011, Peter Coroneos championed best practice across a range of issues, from privacy to cybersecurity to child protection. He served six years alongside the current privacy commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, on the Privacy Advisory Committee, a ministerial panel which advised government and industry on emerging social and technological threats to privacy.

Peter & co-author Michael have kindly shared the preface for their new book The Cyber Breach Communication Playbook. It’s a must-read for boards and senior executives to tackle the cyber breach communication challenge & Peter is offering half-day workshops to tackle this challenge.


We wrote this book because we’ve become concerned about the undermining of public trust from hacked organisations all over the world who seem to have a poor understanding of stakeholder management.

In this age of the 24-hour news cycle and the unprecedented risk of cyberattack, we don’t think it’s an option to sweep a cyber breach under the carpet and hope it’ll go away. It won’t. Nor is it possible to spin your way out of such a situation — as in many similar cases, the consequences of a cover-up can be worse than the original problem.

More than ever, customer trust is currency.

One important premise of this book is that you need to work hard to build a store of this currency before you get breached so that when the fateful day comes, you will have a reservoir of goodwill to draw upon. 

A reservoir of goodwill and a properly resourced, prepared and practised communication plan will insulate you against the worst of public approbation. 

We see new norms of disclosure arising in the face of more prevalent and serious attacks. Laws are being drafted under public pressure as people start to realise that every aspect of their online activities and identities is vulnerable. 

Legislators hope that by passing mandatory breach disclosure laws, organisations will start to take cybersecurity seriously and make the needed investments in people, processes and technology to better protect organisational, employee, customer and third-party information.

Large companies are coming under the scrutiny of their stock exchanges who see an obligation to defend shareholder value by encouraging greater accountability at the Board level. They too, need to be informed.

This playbook is a guide to action. It gives you a taste of what a breach looks like when it comes and gives you a framework for competent pre- and post-breach action. 

Our hope is you’ll be better equipped to face the inevitable scrutiny, whether customer, media, regulatory or all three, by having well rehearsed and honest responses so that you’ll be seen as a victim of a crime who has taken all reasonable steps but been caught out, rather than negligent, inept or uncaring. 

A good reputation is a fragile thing. It is the gift of those who trust you. But it’s a conditional gift and you must earn the right to keep it. This book will set you on that path.



For more information and to purchase The Cyber Breach Communication Playbook, click this link.


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