One of the biggest data breach stories in history, the Panama Papers has taken the global news media by storm. More than 11 million confidential documents were leaked revealing how wealthy individuals, including certain public officials use offshore accounts to evade taxes.

The released records continue to make headlines around the world and have already prompted the resignation of Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson.

At the center of the storm is Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm, whose private data has been compromised and made public. Even though no illegal activity has been found thus far on the part of the firm, Mossack Fonseca now faces an incredible challenge of managing the monumental PR crisis caused by its data breach.

The company’s already dire situation was exasperated by its initial crisis response. First, the firm’s Director Ramon Fonseca called the cyber attack a “limited” hack, despite the 2.6 terabytes of leaked information. The company also accused the media of “unauthorized access to proprietary documents” and using them out of context. It is clear that Mossack Fonseca wasn’t prepared for this type of emergency and lacked a pre-defined crisis management plan coupled with effective messaging to meliorate its reputational damage.

The story of the Panama Papers and Mossack Fonseca highlights the importance of professional crisis management at times when force majeure events threaten an organization’s reputation. As experts in crisis management with offices in South Florida and Washington, DC, Red Banyan Group specializes in helping companies navigate complex challenges when the stakes are at their highest. With decades of experience, Red Banyan Group has delivered outstanding results to companies of various sizes and industries across the country and internationally.

Is your organization prepared for an unforeseen crisis situation? Do you have the proper procedures and strategies in place that would allow you to react swiftly and effectively when an incident occurs? If not, it may be time to give us a call.