Few companies could salvage a reputation after losing personal data on 33m customers.
But if you are running a dating site for extra-marital affairs, one may argue the bar was never that high.
One such dating site, Ashley Madison, courted controversy when it launched in 2008 with the slogan "life is short, have an affair".
But it wasn't until 2015, when hackers stole the names, addresses and financial information of all its clients and published them on the internet, that it became a household name.
Digital romance can be a sensitive subject and discretion is a necessity. Yet the breach, which sparked a series high-profile embarrassments, bribery and, in some cases, suicide, appeared to elevate Ashley Madison's profile.
"It was a double-edged sword," admits Ruben Buell, the Ashley Madison chief. "After the events of 2015, we had to rethink who we were".
That rethink, Buell says, included a realisation that "most of our clients are attached and want discretionary tools to date on the side, so that's what we've focused on".
The breach barely made a dent.
"We are now signing up 20,000 Britons a day and revenue growth in the US this year went up 16.7 per cent and Canada 18 per cent," Buell adds.
There is even a possibility of the affair site (cue titters) going public.
So three years on, what do people think when they hear Ashley Madison?
"When I talk to people about where I work the first thing I get is a pretty big smile," Buell says.
"People think it is like working at the Playboy Mansion, but we are just a Toronto-based tech firm that operates like a start-up. It's not what people expect."
The Canadian, who wears a ring on his finger, took up the role as president of Ruby Life in 2017 after serving as chief technology officer, and now runs its three dating sites: Ashley Madison, Cougar Life and Established Men.
Most of the management from the hack have left. They were ousted, not because of the breach, but an unfortunate revelation that came about with the publishing of all the customer details.
It was not long before people began to notice that almost every name on the list belonged to a man.
Ashley Madison had installed chatbots to talk to customers to get them spending more.
The dating site makes money by charging for its messages using credits.
Each credit allows you to message other people on the site. But up to 2015, many had been paying hard-earned credits to speak to an algorithm devised by one of Ashley Madison's engineers. Not such an alluring prospect, after all.
Doriana Silva, a former employee, tried to sue the company claiming she suffered repetitive strain injury after being given a month to input 1000 fake female memberships.
Silva was initially brought in to launch the Portuguese-language version of Ashley Madison for Brazil, now one of its biggest markets.
Ruby Life, then called Avid Life, countersued and both parties agreed to drop their cases.
Determined to improve its image, Buell tasked EY with whipping up a report to prove that three years on from the debacle, half of its clientele is now female, not fictional.
"We did that to dispel the notion that there aren't real females on Ashley Madison. EY has verified that the firm has no bots in place whatsoever," he says.
Buell, who has years of experience in the online dating industry — moving from dating site True.com before taking up a role at Ruby Life — argues the use of bots "was not exclusive to Ashley Madison. But how prolific is it now? I can't really say".
Many have found love online but dating sites are designed to keep users coming back for more. Therefore, cynics suggest, it may not be in a firm's best interests to see a user speedily matched with the love of their life.
Buell retaliates: "My experience from dating is that love is a continuum and there is a constant change in people's lives — and Ashley Madison is a perfect example of that.
"Someone may be on Cougar Life and then have a life-changing event and reach out on Ashley Madison to try to find someone like-minded.
"At Ashley Madison we talk about how customers have lived life and it is not the fairytale they are taught when they are young, but that they are trying to find something that is missing to make them happy.
"From our standpoint a happy customer is someone who has found a connection, and because of that they tend to stay with us for a while."
Buell says he doesn't judge what others are up to in their relationship.
"One thing I have learnt is that there are a ton of different situations going on and that those are unique to those individuals and partnerships".
He recalls stories from a member whose partner has Alzheimer's disease and uses the site, but was not interested in leaving her husband.
Others choose "to stray to stay" to make themselves happier because they are afraid a divorce will break their family apart.
But does he sample the service for himself?
Laughing, Buell says it's purely professional.
"I don't use the product except to look for customer experience purposes and know exactly what is going on with the site," he says.
Jokes aside, Ashley Madison's ghosts continue to haunt Buell, despite the executive clear-out and ongoing criminal inquiry into the data leak.
Reports of blackmail, divorces and deaths were linked to the fallout. John Gibson, a married pastor and father-of-two, killed himself after his name was revealed in the leak. He wrote an apology to his wife in his suicide note.
Cyber-security journalists Brian Krebs and Troy Hunt were two of the first to report the hack.
Krebs received an anonymous email alerting him to the breach, but he was never able to trace them.
Within hours of writing about it in their blogs, both said they received hundreds of emails from desperate Ashley Madison clients begging them to help scrub their records away.
Of course, there was nothing they could do.
"The only thing I can say is that those events are completely tragic events and I just hope the families are doing OK now. We have redesigned the cyber-security pipeline and made all our folks put security and customer data first".
There is much speculation that an insider must be to blame for the hack.
The so-called Impact Team published the database to prove that Ashley Madison's data deletion service, a $13 (£9) payment to remove yourself from the system, failed to do what it said on the tin, a fact that only someone close to the company could know.
Buell said that focus on customer experience, as well as new legal counsel and a privacy officer, will bolster Ashley Madison's goal to get the world and its wife enjoying an affair, but it seems frustrating that, three years on, it still has no idea who breached its database.
On the one hand it destroyed the firm's credibility and on the other propelled it to global fame. But as the slogan suggests, life is short ... and so are people's memories.