How to Manage Public Relations After a Cyber-Attack (and What Not to Do)

Cyber attacks and data breaches are not only becoming more common, but more sophisticated. Hackers are finding ways to infiltrate the networks of everything from banks to businesses, houses to HOA’s, making it difficult for company leaders and family leaders to keep track of the threats they face on a digital scale.

Poor publicity and negative perceptions follow and social media campaigns may spark up. And when it comes to something like a homeowners association being taken advantage of, which holds sensitive information of those in its community, it’s important to understand the best way to respond and handle communications after.

How a company or, in this case, a HOA responds to a cyber attack can greatly affect its position as a trusted source in its community.

Communication After a Cyber Attack/Data Breach: What to Do

  • Notification Letters & Emails: It’s important to notify members of your community about the data breach that occurred. Assuming they will hear about it from another source is irresponsible and can lead to legal matters, such as negligence. Having homeowners association insurance in place will provide financial assistance in legal issues, but may not protect against damage to a client’s reputation.
  • Social Media: Social media is a powerful tool that HOAs can use to connect with their members and those in the community. Notifying people via Twitter, Facebook and even Instagram about the basic goings-on following a data breach. These platforms can allow board members to connect with HOA members and open up an opportunity for information to be posted in regards to what happened and what’s being done about it.
  • Website: HOAs should post the most up-to-date information on their website and direct members to go there for further updates. Websites act as the trusted source of information for people who want to stay in the know, especially when it comes to the integrity of their information. HOAs should quickly inform the public and minimize the rumors that are sure to spread around.
  • Cyber Risk Insurance: HOAs can invest in cyber risk insurance to help protect against cyber risks. Kevin Davis Insurance Services has a program that can be tailor-fit to your HOA clients who are looking to keep their sensitive community information safe. What’s more this kind of risk insurance acts as an emergency button when it comes to paying the financials behind picking up the pieces of a cyber attack, such as credit monitoring, forensics, regulatory fines, and more.

Communication After a Cyber Attack/Data Breach: What NOT to Do

There are a number of things that an association can do wrong when it comes to responding to a cyber attack. Public relations is the key to keeping information safe as well as keeping members informed in a responsible way.

  • Providing Numbers or Details: While promoting updates on social media, emails and a website are important, it’s also important to not divulge the specific scope of a breach. Posting data figures from a breach could be misleading as final tallies are not always final. Companies have had to revise their numbers in the past following a breach, only to upset customers who thought incidents weren’t as problematic.
  • Naming the Source of the Attack: While it’s important for the authorities to track down the source of the hack, what matters to those affected is how it’s going to be fixed. Plus, it keeps the incident in the news and overshadow the measures you’re taking to address the attack.
  • Ignoring Media Calls: The media will be sure to make a story of any data breach, especially when it hits close to home. Associations should not keep media requests at bay as responding to them will inform the community your clients are doing what needs to be done to address issues.


About Kevin Davis Insurance Services

For over 35 years, Kevin Davis Insurance Services has built an impressive reputation as a strong wholesale broker offering insurance products for the community association industry. Our president Kevin Davis and his team take pride in offering committed services to the community association market and providing them with unparalleled access to high-quality coverage, competitive premiums, superior markets, and detailed customer service. To learn more about the coverage we offer, contact us toll-free at (877) 807-8708 to speak with one of our representatives.