You just learned that your company has experienced a data breach. Whether an insider took personal information, a cybercriminal hacked your business data from your corporate server, or the information has been exposed to your business’s website, you might be wondering what steps you should take next.
Unfortunately, data breaches have increased over the years and are a common feature of the digital age, as we are always connected to online services. Especially because now everyone can become a victim of a data breach, you can’t afford to be unprepared in the aftermath of this event. No one is quite safe from these online threats, and even companies with the strictest IT and data security policies can become victims of data breaches. So, it’s up to you to know the best ways to protect your brand and control the situation so this event will not have devastating effects on your reputation.
Here are the best steps to take if your personal data is compromised online.
Alert Your Staff
In case of a data breach, it is vital to remain calm and not panic. Additionally, it is crucial to alert your employees as soon as possible. Tell them the situation and stay transparent with what your business experienced. You should be the one to give guidelines on what to do after this event and what to tell customers.
Assess The Priorities And Risks
After a data breach happens, you need to identify the source of the incident. Also, you need to figure out what is the data that was leaked. When you inform your customers and employees, you must be specific with your approach and avoid generalizations like “ every customer data is at risk.”
After you identify the source of the data breach, you need to determine the danger it poses to your customers and business. If the risks are too severe, you might need to shut up your operations until you sort out how to fix them.
Contain The Breach
After you assess the situation and determine how cybercriminals accessed your system, you must contain the breach. This is a vital step, as it will help your company reduce the impact of the data breach. So, you will need to remove all the components of your system that have been affected by this unfortunate event. This can include laptops, computers, servers or other devices altered by the breach.
Make sure you document all the information related to the breach, from the initial discovery of the event to every step you have taken. Also, keeping records of the communication with customers, employees, and law enforcement agencies might be a good idea. This step is essential, as documenting everything will provide accurate information in case you want to file a report.
The documentation will also prove beneficial if you choose to claim compensation for the data breach. You can consider a data breach claim if you have suffered any kind of damage, material or non-material. But you can also claim compensation if this tragic event had a physical impact on you, which caused worry or distress. Check https://www.databreachclaims.org.uk if you want to learn more about data breach claims.
Prevent Further Data Leakage
After you have taken all the steps mentioned above, you will also need to prevent further data leakage. This might include removing software that contains security vulnerabilities. Additionally, it will be good to review all your security and data systems so that you can identify any gaps you have in your business and solve them.
You will also need to figure out which data was leaked, whether it was financial records, customer information, or company data. Then, you will need to remove this data if it has been exposed to the internet. Furthermore, you must stay vigilant, as you can’t be sure if this event was an insolent incident or a broader malicious attack against your company.
How Can You Tell Your Business Has Been A Data Breach Victim?
Data breaches require decisive and quick action. But in the majority of cases, they are not detected immediately but after a long time. For example, businesses usually need 287 days to detect signs that show they experienced a data breach. However, this is not really great news, as the longer you wait, the more harm your company will go through. This is why it is very important to identify a breach as soon as possible. Some factors could show you if your organization is at risk of a data breach, including:
- Discovering your business’ confidential data leaked online.
- Finding unauthorized downloads on your company’s network.
- Someone opened an email attachment that came from an unknown source.
- Your business network gets login attempts from a remote and unknown location.
- Several activities happen at uncommon hours.
- DDoS attacks occur in your business, keeping your security team occupied so they will be distracted from the actual cyberattack.
If you noticed one of the signs from above in your company, it is good to take some measures, as someone might want to steal your data. So, conduct a breach-risk assessment or talk to experts to solve this issue and prevent a data breach from happening.
Cybercriminals will try to steal your data, whether you run a massive corporation or a small business. But you surely don’t want your company to be the next target. Data breaches are devastating for each organization, as they can harm a brand’s reputation. So, it is very important to know what to do in case of a data breach, as how quickly you act can influence the severity of the breach.
Now that you know what to do after a data breach, you are prepared for the worst-case scenario.