Crisis Communications during a Cyber Extortion

Crisis Communications during a Cyber Extortion


A company in Europe was the victim of a hacker attack during which the perpetrators stole confidential data. The company management asked SmartRiskSolutions, among other things, to assist with internal and external crisis communication.

Approach by SmartRiskSolutions

SmartRiskSolutions first prepared a holding statement and a list of questions (FAQ) to be expected from journalists. A short time later, before the answers to the list of questions could be formulated with the crisis management team, a journalist contacted the company's press office. The journalist had heard rumours about a cyber attack.


During the first contact with the journalist, it was possible to gain some time. SmartRiskSolutions researched what the journalist's reporting looked like in similar cases and started a media monitoring as an early warning system. The media spokesperson was specifically prepared by the crisis communication expert for the next telephone calls with the journalist.


Special attention was also paid to internal crisis communication. On the one hand, to address the concerns of the employees and to counter rumours. But also because the journalist may have been informed about the case by a staff member.


Through early and transparent crisis communication, the company was able to positively influence the journalist's opinion-forming process. It also succeeded in gaining time and eventually the journalist lost interest in the cyber case.


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