Dealing With a Data Breach? Follow This Advice.

The Direct Marketing Association this week offered its members a useful guide that tells them what to do if a worst-case scenario happens.

Marketers deal with a lot of data, and in the age of the cyberattack, keeping it secure isn’t exactly easy.

Data breaches happen, and the Direct Marketing Association is working to ensure its members are ready. At the association’s 2014 conference in San Diego this week, DMA released The Essential Guide to Data Breach Notification, produced by the the association and the law firm Venable LLP, offering advice on how to deal with potential worst-case scenarios.

“Data security and consumer trust are inextricably linked, and it’s up to all marketers to act as stewards of consumer information,” DMA’s Peggy Hudson, senior vice president for government affairs, said in a news release. “With this guide and our extensive advocacy efforts, DMA is making the task of data stewardship more manageable for responsible actors across the data-driven marketing economy.”

Such efforts are becoming more important for the industry, which is dealing with the impact of breaches experienced by major retailers like Home Depot and Target. Often, these breaches have hidden costs that ripple through related sectors. On Thursday, for example, the Credit Union National Association reported that its industry was on the hook for $60 million in costs directly related to the Home Depot breach.

“The bottom line is that credit union members end up paying the costs—despite the fact that the credit unions they own had nothing to do with causing the breach in the first place,” CUNA President and CEO Jim Nussle told The Hill.

The average cost to a company of responding to a data breach is $5.9 million, according to a 2014 study by the Ponemon Institute and IBM.

DMA officials note a lack of federal standards makes fighting the problem more complicated.

“Until Congress passes a national data breach notification law, companies will be required to navigate this complex patchwork of 47 state requirements,” Hudson noted. “This book gives you a guide to prepare and respond to a breach, and DMA will continue to help data-driven marketers stay on top of the plethora of requirements in ever-changing state laws.”


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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