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20NTC Session Proposal

It Can Happen to You: Surviving a Data Breach


This session will use a real life case example – a small data breach experienced by a large, online autism research study, SPARK, in the Winter of 2019. Specifically, over a one week period, experienced a malicious attack in an attempt to gain access to gift card information on the account pages of SPARK study participants. Due largely to the speed at which the breach was discovered, the communication plan that was immediately put in place and protective measures implemented to reduce the likelihood of further incidents, 555 accounts of about 112,000 total were affected. Further, less than 10 participants chose to withdraw from the study as a result. This session will work through this specific case example to review how to identify the signs of a data breach, review an effective communication plan to all stakeholders impacted and outline tools to effectively reduce the risk of future breaches.

Learning Outcomes

  • Idenfity the signs of a data breach and understand essential data to save for forensics analysis
  • Create a plan for promptly informing and responding to all stakeholders affected
  • Avoid becoming a target in the first place; develop tools to effectively reduce the risk of future breaches

Target Audience

project managers; program managers; software engineers; IT staff; PR and communications teams

Additional Speakers

Dr. Alex Lash, Chief Informatics Officer