What Lessons Can Be Learned From Sony’s Response To Its Network Crash?

If you’re a PlayStation 3 owner, you probably already know that Sony’s PlayStation Network was hacked about three weeks ago, causing major server outages and possible security breaches with millions of customers’ private information.

While many are understandably upset about the server outages and the fact that their credit card information could be in the hands of hackers, what seems to really be hurting Sony’s reputation is the way the company has responded (or not responded) to this crisis.

Sony waited almost a week before they released a statement regarding the hacking of its network. Sony’s PlayStation 3 has almost 80 million gamers. Think they deserve an explanation? Some peace of mind about the security of their private data?

And in a gaming market with fierce competitors in Microsoft and Nintendo, don’t you think it would be in Sony’s best interest to respond to the problem quickly and reassure their customer base that they hand their arms around the problem?

By the time Sony finally got around to responding, the internet was full of rumors about the hack—what it meant, who did it, what information was stolen, etc. And what was Sony’s response? They issued very few details about the network crash, only telling customers to “remain vigilant” because it’s possible that there could be identity theft issues. They told their customers to watch for identity theft or other financial loss.

Sony’s response to the crisis was so poor that even the government is getting involved. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal sent a letter to Sony criticizing the company’s lack of efforts to notify customers of the security breach, saying that “Sony’s failure to adequately warn its customers about serious security risks is simply unconscionable and unacceptable.”

Sony’s lack of a timely response is also drawing sharp interest from the Tapie city government, and the British and Canadian privacy authorities.

And finally, two weeks after the hack and server crash, Sony threw together a quick press conference with an apology and an offer to provide free identity theft protection service, saying they “will consider” helping customers who have to be issued new credit cards.

So, what can we take away from this?

  • Not responding to problems quickly can lead to major distrust from your customers and the public
  • Not responding to problems quickly can also give your competitors a leg up on you
  • Issuing an apology is a good place to start, but customers are more concerned with how you’re going to fix the problem and ensure it doesn’t happen again

What do you think of Sony’s response to this issue? What would you have done differently?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/bigbook.html

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