Data Breach – How to Handle A Data Breach at Your Company

We all rely on modern technology, love online purchasing, and thus have more exposed personal and business data than ever.  Organizations should not only work on mitigating risk, but also need to develop a plan to deal with such incidents.

What is Data breach?

“Data Breach” is a term that describes the unauthorized access to confidential or sensitive information by people who have malintent.  Cybercriminals can hack into and/or compromise your network to obtain sensitive data by sharing, copying, and/or deleting your important files. This may result in the disclosure of personal and financial information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, and other details.

These are the common types of data violations:

Cyberattacks – This is one of the more popular ways to breach data and very difficult to block.  Cyber attackers and nefarious characters can attack your network by stealing sensitive information, scams, or malware attacks.

Identity theft – Similar to cyberattacks, employees can steal confidential company information. The healthcare industry is particularly vulnerable as perpetrators try to steal patient information for financial reasons.

Human error – Human error accounts for 90% of data breaches.  As systems become more complex, so does the power of human error.

Loss of assets – Another common type of data breach is the loss of sensitive data structures. This does not fall under human error as it is the result of inevitable negligence.

How to Recover from a Data Breach

Data breaches threaten all organizations and available reports show that 60% of small businesses had to close within six months after the breach. So, it is critical to protect your business from data breaches, but also have a recovery plan to fall back on.

Breach Containment

The breach needs to be contained immediately.  Stopping a breach is largely dependent on the nature of the attack and the plans involved.  The first step is to disassemble the affected systems to prevent them from spreading across your entire network, including closing any compromised accounts.

If you already have a complex security infrastructure in place, it will be infinitely easier to locate and shut down the affected PC or server and eliminate the threat.

Check the Degree of Damage

After you have contained and eliminated the threat, the extent of the damage needs to be assessed. Determining how an attack occurred is critical to prevent future attacks that use the same tactics. A thorough inspection is necessary to determine if there is any malware left. During those tests, findings should include the vector of the attack, the methods used, and the sensitivity of the breached data.

Notify the Affected Party(s)

Identification of those affected by the data violations is the next step. That includes relevant authorities, individuals, and third-party organizations that may have been involved and/or affected.  Inform any person or business affected internally and externally of the type of data breach that occurred, records that are affected, possible losses, mitigation measures, and how you intend to resolve them.

Perform a Safety Test

A security test is important to assess the status and prevent future attacks.  The best time to do such a test is before you are hit with a data breach to protect your network infrastructure.

Upgrade Your Security Programs

After recovery and testing, preventive measures need to be put into place such as.  Here are a few simple ones:

  • Data encryption – if you are handling sensitive data, encryption is a good way to protect from data breaches.
  • Multi-factor Verification – this is the best way to prevent your organization from external attacks. It provides an additional layer over and above standard passwords.
  • Staff training – employees are the biggest contributing factor to data breaches. Training your staff is the first line of defense against such attacks.

CMIT Solutions of Cincinnati & NKY has a variety of high-level security solutions for your business.  Check out this link for more information:  CMIT Cybersecurity

Don’t wait to be a victim.  Be proactive.  Protect your data and have peace of mind.



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