Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Importance of Reputation

I was on a panel last summer, and I claimed that I felt the most significant impact of a data breach would be the harm it can potentially do to your brand. Working at a company with a very well established brand name, it is important to avoid anything that will degrade it. Loss of brand is somewhat an intangible, but can mean a loss of market share and a loss of consumer confidence. It's hard to think of a business where data loss or a security incident made public wouldn't have some effect. This graphic from Ernst & Young seems to underscore that.

You might take liberties with the well-known poem and say, "If you can keep your reputation, whilst those around you are losing theirs..." Reputation is something that stays with you, regardless of how the economy goes or some business cycle. It is tied closely to integrity and can be much harder to regain, than lose!