Steps To Take After A Data Breach
A data breach of any kind can be a devastating event for a business. While you never know if or when it may happen, the proper data security can keep your company prepared. In the event that it does occur, what does a company do then?
Here are some key points to focus on if a data breach has hurt your business so that you can fix the damage and protect the business as well as your clients.
Panic Is Not An Option
While the thought of a data breach elicits feelings of fear, frustration, and disorientation, the best course of action begins with ignoring those feelings. There are things that need to be done in order to re-acquire control and panic will not help.
Beginning with a measured and calculated approach to your response will provide a springboard for a positive outcome. Gather all the information about the breach is paramount for formulating an educated response. Without all the details, you may end up informing too many or too few of your clients about the event which can snowball into having to make further reparations. An IT services company like Longhurst Consulting can assist you in this process. That is not to say the breach should be covered up or minimized in any way, only that information needs to be gathered before knowledge can be bestowed.
Know Your Legal and Ethical Obligations
Let the law work for your company by following the stated guidelines on how and when to inform your affected clients of a data breach. Speaking with your company’s legal counsel can put you on the right path to disseminating the information, which is a legal obligation, appropriately.
That said, simply following the legal course of action may not be enough as there are ethical issues involved as well. The potential damage caused to affected clients by a data breach may be something that needs to be addressed by your company in order to make things right.
Informing your affected clients of the breach of security in an organized, honest, and truthful manner is part of the process so that you can restore order and confidence. Many clients will understand that data breaches will happen regardless of the security in place. Some clients will not, and as a business, it’s important to understand that.
When the time comes, informing your clients of the issue makes them aware that you are on top of it and that you are fixing it, while also making certain that new tools are in place to ensure security in the future. How you handle passing the information along to your clients will determine how quickly and fully your business recovers.
What Information Was Lost?
Determining the extent of the breach to find out exactly what data was lost should be in the information gathering phase of the recovery. This will allow your clients the opportunity to protect themselves after you have advised them while your company begins its security sweep of those affected areas.
While it may be unlikely that a data breach occurred due to an internal password leaking into the open, leaving no stone unturned is the safest course of action, especially in the early going of the investigation. Changing all email, entry, and general use passwords among your employees can be a first easy step to resolving the problem.
Perform A Risk Assessment
One of the easiest and efficient ways a business can identify, assess, and prevent security threats is to run a risk assessment on current cybersecurity protocols.
Rating each potential issue found based on the probability of occurrence and potential impact to your business will provide you with the ammunition you need to fix immediate, near-term, and long-term issues. Focusing your attention and budget on the highest risk points of entry will shore up your security issues effectively with the right products in place.
Planning for the worst probably means your business is safe with the best security features available. No matter what system is in place, they all need to be up to date and assessed periodically.
If you have had a data breach or in need of more security for your business, call Longhurst Consulting today!