What to do After Experiencing a Data Breach


It’s Likely Your Business Will Experience A Data Breach

When it comes to security issues related to technology, whether your business experiences a data breach is less a question of “if”, and more a question of “when”. Cybercrime is a multi-trillion dollar industry full of cybercriminal “startups” located in foreign countries and built around digital theft. This means that along with a continued focus on prevention, careful consideration must be placed on response and resilience.

Meanwhile, computational potentiality doubles every eighteen months in accordance with Moore’s Law. This means new solutions in security must be designed and that legal compliance shifts. It must, as previous protections are overcome by contemporary threats. Accordingly, your first step in counteracting a data breach is to understand you will likely have one, and so planning before a breach occurs becomes of primary importance.

Consulting professional cybersecurity advisory partners can be key. Such organizations run penetration tests and other risk assessment services to help determine just how effective the information security posture of your business is. From there, specific data breach response solutions can be developed. The correct data breach response can be essential. Primarily, three areas of response need to be addressed:

  • Operational Security Facilitation
  • Repairing Vulnerable Areas
  • Notification of Appropriate Organizations or Individuals

Operational Security Facilitation

First and foremost, when you’ve experienced a data breach, you’ve got to close whatever loophole, back door, or another avenue of intrusion a cybercriminal has used to infiltrate. You want to do this as quickly as possible.

Continuous monitoring and support through the right cybersecurity advisor can be integral in identifying anomalous activity and digitally quarantining it before it impacts operation. Once the breach is identified and “cordoned off”, as it were, you want to make sure such a thing doesn’t happen again by fortifying the vulnerable area.

An on-site team of experts tasked with examining such instances can be effective, but may not be affordable to your business. However, a cybersecurity partner with incident response and forensics experience is preferred due to the delicate nature and urgency of data breach occurrences.

Be upfront with clientele about what has happened, why, what you’re doing to fix it, the likelihood of such attacks in the market, and anything else pertinent to the situation. Remunerate clients for any losses you can pay back if that’s possible. Don’t destroy anything which can help you identify the where, why, and how behind the data breach.

Repairing Vulnerable Areas

A data breach should never happen the same way twice. If the vulnerable area is a website, fix that site. If you’ve got lax internal policies which don’t enforce security best-practices among personnel, address that. Social engineering hacks are big, and cybercriminals are well-versed in leveraging human nature for their benefit. One of your best defenses against internal data compromise will be continuously educating your staff.

Notification of Appropriate Organizations or Individuals

Some compliance requirements stipulate you notify certain organizations in the event of a data breach. Each state has specific data breach laws which you should be familiar with. If you’ve got clients who have been specifically impacted, you must let them know. Sometimes a data breach doesn’t affect clientele. In such cases, who you notify will be restricted to security providers and other parties as defined by your state and/or industry regulatory requirements. Best practices should clearly identify who you must contact. Critical situation analysis will help you determine who else might require notification.

Contact Security Compliance Associates For More Information About Data Breach Prevention

Determine data breach response procedures prior to breaches. Consulting cybersecurity professionals like those at Security Compliance Associates (SCA) can be fundamental in helping you both respond to a data breach appropriately and prevent such breaches from happening in the future. Call us at (727) 571-1141 to discuss incident response planning and data breach prevention.