Important Steps To Take After A Business Data Breach
Data breaches are happening at an alarming rate with devastating consequences for businesses. A recent data threat report indicates that 45% of US companies suffered data breaches in 2021. Currently, it’s estimated that cyber attacks occur every 39 secs (according to the University of Maryland). A data breach can be a serious threat, and you need to know how to contain it, identify the cause, assess the damage, and prevent re-occurrence. While prevention is the best protection, here are some important steps you should take as soon as you notice a business data breach.
Contain the breach
Almost every online security expert will advise you to protect your network or else… you may suffer serious consequences. That is the first step in preventing costly data breaches. But sometimes, many businesses are completely blindsided by these breaches, and the immediate response will be to contain it and prevent it from getting worse. Additionally, you can ensure that there’s no further unauthorized access to the affected systems. An effective way to contain data breaches is by disconnecting systems from the network. Once done, shut down all your servers or even physically disconnect devices as soon as possible.
Identify the cause
Once the breach has been contained, the next step is to identify the cause. That will involve thoroughly analyzing the affected systems and network logs to determine how the attacker gained access and what data was compromised. You can review system access logs, network traffic logs, and security alerts to determine how the attacker gained access to the system. Additionally, it can be helpful to examine any known vulnerabilities in the systems, such as unpatched software or weak passwords. You can find intrusion detection tools to use or engage a forensic investigator with the expertise to help you investigate the root cause of the data breach.
Assess the damage
After the cause of the breach has been identified, the next step is to assess the damage. You want to determine to what extent business data has been compromised, how sensitive it is, and who is affected by the breach. Doing this can also help you calculate the cost of the damage to your business. You also must notify the affected parties. That means informing clients, business partners, and any individuals whose personal information has been compromised, including any regulatory bodies that must be notified according to the laws in your area.
Implement preventive measures
The next step is to implement preventive measures to prevent future breaches. You can review and update security policies and procedures, conduct regular security audits, and implement security technologies such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption. But if that sounds too complicated, you can engage the services of a cybersecurity consultant or forensic investigator to help.
Continuously monitor and improve
Continuously monitor your systems and network to detect potential threats and improve your security posture. Be sure to keep an eye out for suspicious activity, implement security updates and patches, and conduct regular security assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities.