Data breaches are something that all employees and businesses are scared of… and for good reason. A data breach means that your clients’ information is now up for grabs. This could include identity theft or banking/payment information being stolen. Not only are data breaches extremely dangerous for everyone involved, but they’re extremely expensive disasters to fix. The cost of an average data breach hit a whopping $3.86 million in 2020.
Breaking this down further, the average cost of one singular record is anywhere from $150-175. Most businesses don’t have million dollars just sitting around to fix a mistake. It’s pretty safe to say, a data breach is every organization’s worst nightmare. So you’ve been breached, now what? Let’s dive into the steps you should be taking after you fall victim to a data breach.
Step 1: Identify the source of the breach
Identifying the source of the data breach and figuring out the extent of the data breach is the first step. You have to do this step before you continue to the second step. Having a good MSSP (managed security service provider) like IronTech Security on your side will help tremendously with this step. They can track down the source of the data breach, stop things quickly, and see what files were affected.
Step 2: Once the data breach is discovered, secure operations ASAP
One of the most important things to do… move quickly! It’s crucial to secure your system and the information as fast as possible. This step also includes making sure to fix the problem or vulnerability that caused the data breach in the first place. Again, having an MSSP could fulfill this step. This is what MSSP professionals are trained to do. They’re trained to find the issue, fix it quickly, and stop the attack right away. Addressing a data breach isn’t a one size fits all type of issue. Your MSSP will make a plan specifically for you and your organization to patch things up quickly.
Step 3: Now… it’s time to notify everyone
Cybercriminals illegally obtaining information from businesses is considered illegal, so contact your local authorities so that they can take the next necessary steps. With the help of the authorities and your MSSP, the people responsible for the data breach can be found and held accountable for what they have done.
Now is the hardest part: you have to let your clients know what has happened. This step is difficult because no business wants to let their clients down, but it’s your responsibility to let them know what happened. Like the other steps, you want to act fast. If you tell them quickly, the more likely they can protect themselves against any kind of fraud or malicious activity. You need to let the clients and all other affected parties know the nature and extent of the breach. Acting quickly and thoroughly is crucial.
Step 4: Post-Breach Clean-Up
After you’ve alerted your clients, now it’s time for clean-up. Hopefully, the data breach was resolved quickly, but your business might have lost some of the clients’ trust in the process. This is normal, but earning their trust back won’t be an easy process. Having an MSSP on your side will help you minimize the damage as much as possible.
To help prevent any other data breaches, you should enroll their employees in continuous security training. All of the employees at IronTech Security are enrolled in continuous security training, and it’s extremely helpful. You get to learn about the newest and most common attacks that your business could face.
Now that you know the steps that need to be taken after a data breach, hopefully, you and your company will be prepared and on the defense when it comes to malicious activity.
Check out this YouTube video from one of our previous Deeper Dive webinars where our founder & CEO, Tom Kirkham, discusses this topic more in-depth!