Breach Boot Camp: Learn How to Manage the Fallout from Cyber Attacks at Marketers’ Networking Council on Jan. 29

With more than 100 million credit and debit cards potentially compromised in the Target breach and new information about additional holiday-season cyber attacks still unfolding, credit unions are working fast and furiously to address the situation. Best practices will be shared at “Breach Boot Camp” — the theme of the Jan. 29 Marketers’ Networking Council.

“The recent breaches were not credit unions’ fault, but they became their problem,” says Lynn Heider, vice president of public relations and communications for the Northwest Credit Union Association. The stress points included monitoring for potential fraud, notifying members, determining whether and when to reissue cards and bearing the expense, Heider says, and “one key to managing a breach crisis includes having an effective communications and public relations plan.”

“Breach Boot Camp” will help credit union marketers develop the public-relations infrastructure needed to navigate cyber attacks.

“A data breach puts any financial situation into crisis mode,” says Casey Boggs, president and founder of LT Public Relations and one of the council presenters. “Not only must they deal with the logistics of protecting member’s information, but they must also work to protect their reputation as members will feel their trust has been compromised. With any crisis, honesty is paramount, as is timeliness. Do not wait days or weeks to communicate to members. Gather all the information you have and outreach to members within hours if possible. Your integrity is at stake, and you will make big strides to regaining trust based on how you respond.”

In his council presentation Boggs will address the core principals of crisis communication, including how and when to communicate to media, members and staff, as well as outline the critical steps any organization should take to prepare for a crisis.

Also on the agenda for the council meeting is an interactive interview with financial writer Brent Hunsberger, who will talk about the kinds of questions that the media will ask a financial institution during a breach, and what questions consumers are asking reporters.

In addition, marketers will review best practices for internal steps credit unions should take during a breach, and ways to communicate those actions with the membership.

Mark Minickiello, the NWCUA’s vice president of legislative affairs, will share information about RCW 19.225.020, a Washington state law allowing credit unions to file reimbursement lawsuits if a data breach results from negligence on the part of the merchant.

“With nearly 2,000 breaches last year that we know of, we can say confidentially that cyber crime is an ongoing challenge,” Heider says, “so we want to help our credit unions to be prepared for the best response.”

Registration for the 2014 Marketers’ Networking Council series is open online.


Questions? Contact Gary Stein: 503.350.2216,

Posted in Events, Marketing & Communications.