What should a Company Do After a Data Breach?

Amid all the chaos around the globe, the news that data breaches are on the rise is probably not the best news for your company. Data breaches are becoming more common. It recently occurred in significant corporations such as Colonial Pipeline and JBS, a major meatpacker. These are only two of many examples from this year. Data breaches aren't limited to large corporations. Every year, mid-sized and smaller businesses confront the same problem.

Impact of A Data Breach

Puma, a well-known sports company, was recently attacked by a data hack that affected over 6,000 people, including workers and consumers. The assault was carried out with ransomware, which encrypts data in exchange for money. Similarly, in 2020, the tech firm Unacademy had a data breach that resulted in the loss of over 20 million user records.

These examples demonstrate how data breaches may affect organizations of all sizes. To mitigate the harm, your company should implement appropriate data security procedures following an attack—if one occurs.

What steps a Company Should Take After A Data Breach?

Companies that suffer data breaches are solely responsible for informing all parties involved of the situation and any potential hazards. Here are the measures businesses should do right away if a data breach is suspected or verified.

  • Inform Employees and Clients

Never keep the details of a data breach hidden. After all, the purpose of your company is to serve consumers or clients. When their data is compromised, they need to be aware of it to defend themselves. The same is true for your internal personnel. Their personal information may also have been compromised, potentially leading to identity theft and other criminal conduct.

Always attempt to inform everyone in your organization and your clientele about what occurred. Allowing clients to know the specifics helps them to take action with credit bureaus if someone attempts to utilize their financial information. Unless you already have data protection in place, your staff will take the same precautions to protect themselves.

Keeping this data breach information confidential may come back to harm your firm later. It might result in litigation for enabling sensitive information to fall into the wrong hands. You may also lose many of your valuable staff (and clients) as a result of a lack of trust.

  • Identification Of Intensity

The first step is to determine the source and scope of the breach so that it may be addressed as soon as possible. You should ideally have intrusion detection and/or prevention systems (IDS and IPS) in place to automatically log such security occurrences.

Using these logs, you may determine the source of the breach, which files were accessed, and what activities the intruder took. This information is critical for your future steps.

If your network does not have IDS/IPS, gathering this information will take much more time and effort on the part of your IT team.

  • Backup Important Files

If the firm stores your files or other forms of digital data on its servers (e.g., cloud storage services, web hosts), you should download and create local backups. Doing so as quickly as possible will keep your data from being damaged, erased, or kept hostage for ransom.

Of course, avoiding data breaches is the best approach to cope with them. There are several measures you may take, many of which are simple to put into action. Read our previous post on the best methods to reduce your risks of falling victim to data breaches to learn more about what you can do to entirely avoid data breaches.

  • Verify The Breach

Indeed, one of the most popular ways for hackers to get access to sensitive data is by sending bogus data breach alerts, typically in the form of emails. As a result, you must confirm the source of your data breach notice. Contacting the firm in concern via the email or phone number is shown on their official website is the best option.

Please do not click any links in emails. This might very well be how hackers trick you into entering your information on a bogus website. Instead, physically navigate to your company's website by entering its URL into your browser's search box or searching for it on Google.

  • Freeze Credit Reports

Freezing your credit reports is one of the finest things you can do following a data incident. Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion are the three credit bureaus that typically gather your credit information. The databases of these firms are widely available and easy to access, giving them an open banquet for hostile actors.

Your identity may be stolen in a matter of seconds, but a security freeze can protect you from a data breach. You merely need to contact these institutions, and they will provide you with a PIN to use to lock your credit. This prevents someone from opening accounts in your name or requesting loans in your name.

  • Fix Vulnerabilities

Fixing the vulnerability that triggered the leak in the first place is one of the actions to take following a data breach. Determine how the incident occurred in collaboration with your IT staff and a forensics team. They can discover whether or if third parties are involved, as well as the scope of the data breach.

Implement and test any short- or long-term vulnerability patches after a comprehensive examination to verify the weakness has been effectively addressed.

Final Thoughts

It might be more expensive to learn how to safeguard oneself after a data breach than to take preventive precautions. A data breach can smear your company's reputation. Very few businesses can recover from these occurrences. Financial gain is the sole purpose of cyberattacks. That is why maintaining adequate password hygiene, a solid antivirus solution, well-trained people, and the best DLP plan is critical.

Dealing with a data breach involves effort, and there is no assurance of a successful recovery. Your DLP plan must limit the harm while also determining what and how it occurred.

SunTel Technologies is here to help your business as it navigates the intricacies of a remote workforce. SunTel Technologies may collaborate with you to help you implement security policies and settings that conform to industry best practices throughout your whole organization to help prevent a data breach.

Our dedication to designing IT infrastructure security begins at the heart of your organization. As a result, we have unified security at the device, application, and network levels.