4 Steps to Take When Someone Breaches Your Data

Written by StorageCraft IT News

IT teams have many important jobs, and one of those is drafting a data security strategy for their business. And, since no plan is perfect, a key part of this strategy is devising a plan of action in case a hacker infiltrates the security measures in place. Here are a few steps you may consider employing if your company’s data is breached:

 

  1. Determine What Was Stolen

If a data leak seems small, it very well could have been. However, hackers are quick, insidious, and leave little trace of their actions while logged in to your system. What seems like small hacks can still result in large amounts of stolen data.

Also, determine what type of data they stole. Certain breaches will be less invasive than others if hackers obtain less sensitive data. For example, if names and addresses were the only bits of info grabbed by a hacker, it’s less invasive than if they took email addresses, financial details, customer business IDs, and dates of birth. Sensitive information can be used against your business, staff, and customers, which means taking action as soon as possible is imperative to prevent further damage.

 

  1. Review Legal Regulations

As a business, you have an obligation to uphold certain federal and state regulations after a data leak. It’s to your benefit to review these with a lawyer who specializes in data security.

Pen lying on a contract or application form, wide angle view.

You may consider going above and beyond your legal obligations and consider what you can do for your clients that’ll show them your commitment to their security. Let’s say that credit card information is stolen. Offer to pay for credit monitoring if you can. Maintaining your reputation as a business can be as important to your future success as solving the problem quickly and effectively.

 

  1. Perform a Postmortem & Take Action

Identify exactly what happened to allow your hacker access to your system. It could have been a missed patch or even a lost employee laptop, but the best way to move forward is to learn from your mistakes the first time around. Set up an alert for available patches or rework laptop security measures. Do everything you can to ensure the same problem won’t happen twice.

If you can’t determine the source of the hack, consider hiring an outside consultant who can take an unbiased, 360-degree view of your security, and advise you on next steps.

 

  1. Inform Your Customers

Female Customer Services Agent In Call Centre

Even though it’s important you take action quickly, crafting a well-thought-out response to customer inquiries is imperative and can save you time and money in the end. Be sure to reach out only to those affected directly by the breach. Informing your whole email list may cause clients to become more worried than necessary and over exaggerate the extent of your breach.

That said, be honest with your clients. Tell them the full extent of the damage, and also what they can do to protect their identity and accounts. Saying “sorry” won’t cut it. Explaining the details of exactly what happened is crucial to continue a trustworthy relationship with your customer base.

Conclusion

In today’s online climate, cyber attacks and data breaches are unavoidable. Even the largest and most successful companies get hacked at some point. Having reliable backups you can use to restore data will help to minimize downtime for your business, and prove to your clients that you take their privacy seriously.

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