Plan what you want to say during the interviews. Here are some ideas:
- Be contrite but confident.
- Apologise to your customers for any inconvenience.
- Reassure them that the company will do everything possible to protect against any loss.
- Announce that you will facilitate access to credit monitoring programs.
- Emphasise the exceptional nature of this event by making the following kinds of statements: 'first indications are, this was an extremely sophisticated attack'
- Stress that the company already has robust information security practices in place, but you will be revisiting them.
- Say that you already have got external experts in to investigate the incident and that you will look to implement whatever recommendations these experts make.
- State that you will vigorously pursue the perpetrator responsible for this incident.
Best of luck!
SIX MONTHS LATER:
OK, so things didn't work out. You are now the ex-CEO. But it did come with a useful golden handshake. You can now concentrate on the golfing handicap.
Things worked out really well. After a brief hiccup, you increased your sales, and as a result of all the free publicity you received, you now have 10% more customers. Granted, you had to put aside some costs in the current accounting period, but they are manageable. Ironically, you are now recognized as a world expert on crisis management!
The final item is to contact me, so I can tell you where to send the check!