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TaylorMade Solutions, Heather MacLean

Data Privacy, Breaches and the Impact on Your Bottom Line

Why Boards of Directors Are Losing Sleep Over Data Breaches

 

Like many news stories, we become numb to the constant barrage of data breaches and begin to think that it is both normal and acceptable. In fact, just last month it was revealed that thousands of patient records were held for ransom in Ontario home care data breach in Canada. Similarly, data breaches in the healthcare sector continue to plague the United States

Sidebar: In the Ontario case, the breach was announced in June 2018; however, the full extent of the situation is only coming to light recently because of the group claiming responsibility, reached out to CBC. In addition, some of the victims claim they have not yet been notified.

If you are business owner or a member of a board of directors, news reports of this nature are likely causing you to lose sleep. And, if they don’t, they should. Data privacy, breaches and the impact on the business’ bottom line should be top of mind. Protecting, or not protecting, the personal data of your customers/clients and/or employees is serious business. It could cost you thousands, millions or even result ceasing operations. Regardless, as a business owner or a board member, the fiduciary duty may be more than you are aware of. Data or security breaches should never be thought of as normal and a course of business operations. More than ever board members need to demand that the proper investment and human resources are allotted to protecting the organization’s data. It is also no longer acceptable to not have awareness and increase your knowledge about data protection and cybersecurity risk management.

If you are a consumer, you should never accept that data breaches are normal. You should also never accept that your privacy is a thing of the past. Data is valuable. Your data is extremely valuable to you and your piece of mind. You own your data.

Increasingly privacy laws are being strengthened and for good reason. As consumers we have a right to protect our personal information. And, if this information isn’t adequately protected by businesses or organizations, then they should be liable for this breach and the ramifications for those who data they hold.

The good news is that many business leaders know and understand that data breaches and privacy do matter. They matter to boards of directors because they do have significant financial ramifications. For example, with the General Data Protection Regulation now enforceable it means significant fines for anyone doing business in Europe. In fact, the research is clear. More and more Boards are considering the critical importance of IT oversight and cybersecurity. According to Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) “less than one-fifth of directors are satisfied with the current levels of expertise on their boards. Only 19 percent say they have enough IT/digital expertise and don’t need more, and only 16 percent say the same about cybersecurity.”

So, what does this all mean? It means dollars. It means thousands, hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of dollars in fines and penalties. Some organizations are still playing Russian Roulette in the sense that will gamble with the fines at the time that an incident occurs. An interesting approach for a one-time event. However, the gamble may not pay off when board members are held accountable too. Or, if customers and investors walk away. Additionally, the probability that it is a one-time event is both naïve and short-sighted.

The risk of a data breach increases daily and the time to act is now. The time for consumers and investors to hold the feet of executive teams and boards of directors is now.

Want to talk more about privacy, communications and board governance? Connect with us.

Social Media Measurement – Tips from the Experts

Despite social media being a part of our lexicon for more than a decade now, many organizations still struggle with incorporating social media because they just don’t know what to measure or how to measure the return on investment (ROI).  It doesn’t have to be complicated.  While at Radian6 I worked with many companies that were looking for the right measurements fortheir community teams, while also helping people understand just how you could measure the ROI of social.  There were a lot of great minds there and I am going to share with you some of the social media measurement that we used- tips from the experts.

Image courtesy of measuringupblog.com

Image courtesy of measuringupblog.com

Like any business there was a strong focus on measurement at Radian6, ROI and having the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The best place to start when looking to measure your social media ROI, is with your C-Suite.  It is essential to understand what is important to your executive.  Asking the right questions up front can save a lot of time and get buy-in immediately.  The following questions can get you started:

  1. What are the key concerns or issues of the Board of Directors?
  2. What KPIs are being used?
  3. How are you currently measuring Share of Voice and/or Share of Conversation?
  4. Where does reputation monitoring and management factor in?
  5. What resources do you have to monitor brand mentions and do brand engagement?

It is extremely important to remember that social media is not a strategy unto itself.  Rather, it is part of an overall strategy and must be thought about in the big picture context.  The questions above are intended to help you think this way. Focusing on social media alone is typically the reason that social media ROI has been not been definable and/or reached.  Thus some companies have become disenchanted with social thinking it does not provide results.  It bears repeating that social cannot be planned and/or considered in isolation.  The C-suite, Marketers and Strategists alike need to always be thinking about the big picture and the overall objectives of the organization.

Key Take Aways:

  1. Remember to focus on the big picture.
  2. Social media is not a strategy unto itself.
  3. Select measurements that are important to your Board of Directors and Executive.
  4. Don’t focus on Likes or size of networks only – see #1- 3 and repeat.

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