As Cyberattacks and Other Crises Surge, York Public Relations Releases Latest Whitepaper, “7 Steps to Navigating a Crisis”

New paper outlines the primary steps to follow when faced with an organizational emergency, making crisis communications less stressful for fintechs and financial institutions

ATLANTA, Oct. 6, 2020 – York Public Relations, the nation’s only crisis PR firm dedicated exclusively to financial institutions and fintechs, released today from FinTech South 2020 its latest whitepaper, “7 Steps to Navigating a Crisis.”

This year alone, organizations have seen more cyberattacks than ever before. In fact, large-scale data breaches increased by 273%. Organizations can expect these numbers to continue rising, as we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a July CNBC article, Al Pascual, chief operating officer of Breach Clarity, a fraud prevention and detection technology firm, said that criminals knew the day and time deposits would be made and subsequently overwhelmed financial institutions with account takeover accounts. In fact, account takeover attempts increased by 80%. Barracuda Networks reported earlier in the year that COVID-19-themed spear phishing emails skyrocketed 667% between March 1 and March 23.

Furthermore, the increased surge in remote work arrangements has also created a spike in cyberattacks. “With the mass shift to remote workforces, the corporate perimeter has been broken. This is compounded by the reality that most home networks are insecure, and household smart devices are vectors for attack,” said Tom Kellerman, head cybersecurity strategist at VMware Carbon Black, a cybersecurity firm, in the same CNBC article.

But it’s not just cyberattacks and breaches. For financial institutions specifically, regulators have imposed more than $253 billion in fines since 2008. And in the 15-month period through 2019, regulators fined banks a record $10 billion from anti-money laundering violations, according to a report from Fenergo, a European startup that makes software to help financial institutions detect illegal transactions. Compare this to the total of $26 billion from 2008 to 2018 – an entire decade. Fenergo expects these numbers to be higher for 2020.

Workplace harassment claims also continue to climb across all industries, with more than 140,000 cases reported last year. Sexual harassment complaints, specifically, have increased significantly since the #MeToo movement began in October 2017. In fact, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 7,609 sexual-harassment complaints in 2018, up 13.6% from the previous year.

“From cyberattacks to workplace harassment claims, a crisis is inevitable, especially within the financial industry,” said Mary York, CEO of York Public Relations. “However, most organizations lack crisis preparedness and careful planning. Instead, they react to the emergency rather than build a careful strategy. To minimize damage, we created this whitepaper to help financial institutions and fintechs more appropriately and successfully navigate challenges.”

The time to build a strategy is now — before a crisis erupts. In this paper, York Public Relations outlines the primary steps to follow when faced with an organizational emergency, making crisis communications less stressful and more positive, as well as minimize the impact for all constituencies.

To download the whitepaper, click here.