Last week, Dynamic Network Services Inc., a web-technology provider, suffered a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that resulted in some of the top sites on the internet being disrupted, including Twitter, Netflix, PayPal and Spotify. An investigation is ongoing. The Wall Street Journal’s “Crisis of the Week” column asked experts to assess Dyn’s crisis communications response.
Shannon Wilkinson, our CEO, was one. Her take:
Dyn has embraced the most important quality in responding to most every crisis: transparency. It very quickly informed the public about the attack, including with a blog post from its chief strategic officer that conveyed its desire to clearly explain both the attack and its ramifications.
“Dyn communicated through real-time alerts on Twitter and through its ‘status site,’ a platform dedicated to informing the public about site maintenance and ‘any incidents in progress.’ If you were among the many perplexed consumers who couldn’t access their favorite sites on Oct. 21, you could Google ‘Internet down?’ and find Dyn’s messages– as I did–on its status site. For many of us, it was our first introduction to Dyn. And it was a reassuring one.
“The blog post from Dyn’s chief strategy officer, Kyle York, played a vital role. Rather than apologize for the inconveniences the outage may have caused, York focused on educating the American public about the seriousness of the attack and its complex, unsettling causes. In the process he recast Dyn as the protagonist in our collective war against hackers, even as frontline troops protecting liberty. Dyn gets five stars for its exemplary crisis communications.”
The Wall Street Journal’s Risk & Compliance section often reports on corporate crises. Its Crisis of the Week column is behind a paid firewall and comes out once weekly. If you are a communications professional and follow crisis management, it is well worth the cost to gain insight from the experts.