W7Worldwide and VirtuPort publish crisis communications guide for increased risk of Covid-19 cyberattacks

With this rapid digitization comes an increased risk and impact of cyberattacks on companies

W7Worldwide and VirtuPort publish crisis communications guide for increased risk of Covid-19 cyberattacks

Jeddah: Covid-19 is fast accelerating the digital transformation of businesses and organizations, including retail, education, financial, and healthcare.  With this rapid digitization comes an increased risk and impact of cyberattacks on companies.  Cyberattacks have been growing at an alarming rate, exploiting the disruption and social and economic situation created by Covid-19.  Corporate reputation and cyber risk go hand in hand and now more than ever, companies need to be prepared with a solid incident and crisis communications plan to protect their business and brand.

A Region Under attack

The GCC region has become a centre point for cyberattacks because of its strategic and economic significance, with government, education, and BFSI industries the most targeted verticals by cyber attackers.  The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries  have recorded 3,067 email, URL, and file threats related to the Covid-19 coronavirus in Q1 2020.  Global organizations have seen a 148% spike in ransomware attacks, with the finance and healthcare industry most heavily targeted. 

“Organizations need to consider how their new business models and remote working in response to Covid-19 may have increased the risk of a cyberattack.  Cyber security is evolving from cyber resistance to cyber resilience, with focus on taking preventative measures against the increased risks and addressing them proactively to limit any potential financial and reputational losses from a potential attack.” explains Samir Omar, CEO of VirtuPort. “Not only can a cyberattack affect critical business functions, but it also brings the added external pressure of attention from the media, the public, customers, and regulators.  Therefore, we must act now, and employ the right communications expertise to encourage conversation among leaders, target audiences and the general public.

Communication During an Attack

The ‘7 Steps to Crisis Communications under a Cyberattack’ Guide has been produced as a timely tool for companies to tackle the communications challenges of a cyberattack.  It advises organizations to take key steps in preparation and during an incident, from reviewing current crisis communications plans, to simulation practice, employee threat education programme, controlling the narrative when under pressure and how to move on undamaged from an attack. (Click Here to Read Full Report).

“A cyberattack itself does not need to destroy your corporate reputation; it is how you prepare for and handle such a crisis that will determine lasting trust in your brand.  Consumers, investors, partners, employees, and shareholders are holding organizations much more accountable for their actions.” says Abdulrahman Inayat, Co-Founder of W7Worldwide. “Managing the current increased cyber risk is crucial and means continually assessing your organization’s cyber resilience.  As part of that it is vital to mitigate the impact on brand reputation with a solid crisis communications plan in place and a proactive communications approach.”

Dealing with a cyberattack on top of the Covid-19 crisis is a major challenge for any organization to cope with and requires careful coordination between the incident response team and a range of internal and external stakeholders.  Organizations should develop their crisis communications plan as a pre-emptive measure now and as part of their broader cyber resilience planning with clear messaging and lines of communication to enable sound decision-making during the high-pressure environment surrounding a cyberattack. 

Thought Leadership Creates Awareness

VirtuPort is a leading provider of cybersecurity services in the MENA region across all verticals, helping clients protect themselves from the growing number of cyber threats. The upcoming Middle East and North Africa Information Security Conference (MENAISC),  held virtually this year from 5th to 6th October, will shine a spotlight on the cybersecurity sector in the MENA region with industry leaders discussing the impact of Covid-19. 

The ‘7 Steps to Crisis Communications under a Cyberattack’ Guide brings together VirtuPort’s and W7Worldwide’s combined cybersecurity and crisis communications expertise to help businesses and organizations prepare for and respond proactively to the increased risks of cyberattacks in Covid-19. 



W7Worldwide's Crisis Communications Division developed a 7-step crisis communications guide to help companies and organizations protect their reputation amid the ongoing challenges of COVID-19:

  • Review Crisis Communications Plan
  • Crisis Simulation Practice
  • Control the Narrative
  • Monitor Social Media
  • Nominate Key Spokesperson
  • Target Your Messaging
  • Moving on and preventing future attacks

Source: W7Worldwide Marketing Communications Consultancy Agency, September 2020. 

For more information:
Our Official Website: http://www.w7worldwide.com/
Jeddah – Saudi Arabia 

T: +966 12 661 4579 
E: info@w7worldwide.com
W: www.w7worldwide.com

About W7Worldwide

W7Worldwide is an independent marketing communications consultancy based in Saudi Arabia. Our deeply rooted understanding of the local market merged with our global reach and knowledge enables us to help our clients truly connect with their audiences. We are passionate about bridging the communications gap that exists in the local market. Therefore, our expertise lies in devising innovative strategies to build bridges that establish and sustain relationships while affirming brand reputation and value for our partners. 

  • Reputation Management 
  • Stakeholder Mapping 
  • Crisis Management 
  • Media Relations 
  • Public Relations 
  • Social Media 
  • Marketing & Brand Solutions
Send us your press releases to pressrelease.zawya@refinitiv.com

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