Over 80% of customers in the US stop engaging with a business after a data breach, and over 20% never return. It’s one of the worst possible events in an organization as it causes a dilapidated blow to a business. Any business could face the risk of data breach regardless of size.
Hence, you need to follow a comprehensive data breach response plan in the immediate aftermath of the data breach. A slow response to a data breach can cause significant problems for the said business.
Here are five quick actions to take as soon as you learn about a data breach.
- Secure your systems
Every organization should have a team of IT personnel with experience handling emergencies like data breaches. An incident response plan should outline what to do during a data breach.
The first step after a security attack is to stop the attack. Once you realize there has been a data breach, secure your systems immediately. By cutting off the attacker’s access, you must contain the cyber security breach as quickly as possible.
You can start by isolating servers and computers by taking them off the network or shutting down Wi-Fi for some time. A public key infrastructure (PKI) services provider can help you in such situations. They implement tools like Microsoft PKI after assessing your security objectives and loopholes in the existing system, safeguarding your confidential data from unauthorized access.
2. Determine what was breached
Knowing how the attack happened is essential to prevent hackers from repeating the same strategy. While some people try to delete everything after a data breach, preserving evidence is critical in determining how the breach happened and who was responsible. Determine the compromised servers and contain them as quickly as possible. The incident response team should investigate and identify what caused the data breach.
Investigate what happened during the breach, what information was accessed, what system was compromised, and which accounts may have been utilized.
Moreover, ensure you document everything happening, making it easy for formal forensic investigations. Security experts often turn to the logs on various devices to search for clues on the culprit. Use the records to check the source of the data breach and determine which files were accessed.
Furthermore, make sure the auditing and logging are ongoing to determine the data breach scope and devise any remediation methods. If the auditing has been disabled, restore it before proceeding with anything else. Once you determine where the data breach occurred, fix all the vulnerabilities.
- Test the security fix
Once you neutralize a threat, you need to continue monitoring systems and networks to ensure no further attacks can occur. Ensure your system and network is secured against future attacks, and then bring all the affected systems back online.
After implanting a short-term security fix to prevent a further data breach, test it to ensure the attacker doesn’t use the same method to attack again. Penetration testing is essential to safeguard their vulnerability doesn’t exist elsewhere.
For instance, you will need a complete audit of your network’s IT assets to ensure they perform optimally. Testing will allow you to spot vulnerabilities and minimize damage. Reviewing your response to the data breach and testing its effectiveness is also important.
The next step is to inform your employees and customers of the data breach. The public must learn about the data breach from you instead of delaying the information. An honest email can put your customers at ease until more attack details are available. Communication is essential to earn back the trust of your employees, partners, and customers after a data breach.
You should implement your company’s incident response plan in a data breach. For example, you may need to respond to customer queries and maintain transparency with the affected customers. The customer service team should be ready to provide timely access to their customers and open multiple communication channels.
The business needs to address all public relations and communication questions. Ensure the company maintains a consistent narrative across all channels by writing press releases and communicating to the media.
5. Update all data breach protocols
A data breach can have several impacts after the breach has been resolved, including the loss of consumer confidence. You will need to neutralize the breach quickly and minimize its effects. Work with IT experts to help push security policy and configuration that adhere to industry best practices and prevent data breaches.
A third-party forensic investigation provides insight into the problem and can help understand how to prevent the issue from happening again. You should also contact your legal representative to report all the requirements.
In addition, consider getting cyber liability insurance to protect against any data losses. Losing confidential data can cause financial losses over time, including paying a settlement to those with compromised information.
A data breach can be a big blow to any business, regardless of size. It can result in financial loss, with thousands of dollars needed to neutralize its effects and even years to rebuild customer trust. When you face a data breach, preparation is key to preventing your organization from losing. This article has highlighted steps to follow when you experience a data breach in your organization.