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Do you and your employees know how to respond to a data breach?

August 10, 2022

Do you and your employees know how to respond to a data breach?

So, your company's been affected by a data breach. Now what? Data infringement events are becoming increasingly more frequent. This is in part owing to society's increasing reliance on digital resources. While computers have made our lives easier, making work more efficient, plus AI tools have made it much easier but they have also caused numerous vulnerabilities. Perhaps the most dramatic of them is the data breach. The number of publicly disclosed violations was up by 68% in 2021 compared to the year prior. This is an astounding number, but it doesn't take into account all the attempted and failed breaches, as well as those that may have passed undetected. 

However, one of the positive aspects of the increased visibility of data breaches is that people are now informed about what they are, their modus operandi, and their effects. This information is extremely important because you cannot guard yourself against something unless you know how it operates. Cybercriminals are getting increasingly crafty because security options are also getting better and better. For this reason, it's sometimes impossible to avoid digital crime. It can be as insignificant as a single moment of inattentiveness that causes incredible damage. Nevertheless, it's essential to be aware of the most common ways hackers attack and the steps that must be taken if you become an unfortunate victim. 

If you are an entrepreneur, however, you also hold a certain degree of responsibility towards your employees' actions. You need to provide them with adequate training so they don't risk committing a mistake that'll have huge repercussions. Here are some aspects you should keep in mind when developing a strategy to prevent and manage data breaches. 

Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/pjAH2Ax4uWk 

Understand the term 

Although universally recognized as a troublesome situation, many people don't have a clear idea of what a data breach truly is. Your employees may be in the same boat. Therefore the most important thing is to get everyone on the same page about what a breach is. There's a wide range of information that could be leaked, from personal emails to credit card information. Breaches can sometimes be committed unintentionally rather than maliciously. For instance, one of your employees that's not very tech-savvy may be responsible for moving secure data in an untrusted or unrelated party environment. Understanding what data breaches are provides a realistic portrait of the infringement. The stereotypical image is that of a hacker cracking codes on a computer in a dark room, but human error is just as often the culprit. 

This doesn't mean, however, that malware has no part to play. It does, which is why your employees must learn how to protect their internet safety. If a virus infects one computer, it can potentially affect the whole system and infiltrate all connected devices. 

Improve security

General security is important as well. This is a very comprehensive topic that holds a large number of factors. When it comes to the online space, there are always aspects that you could improve. Routine updates are important, as they contain vital security patches you must use to protect the integrity of your company data. Make sure that firewalls are in order, and you may even want to consider using VPN. 

Restrictions can also be used. You should only allow access to data to the employees whose duties require it. This is the perfect way to reduce the probability of vulnerabilities. Set different roles with different levels of access for everyone, and you're all set. While you're at it, you may also want to get into traffic monitoring to get a better idea of the third parties your business interacts with. A single unsecured connection can pose a risk. 

While these tips are essential for businesses, you should also employ them daily. This is particularly important if you have a habit of bringing your work home to finish all your tasks, as your personal computer can cause an information leak. If you've been at the receiving end of a data breach attack, hire a UK data breach lawyer to help you receive the maximum compensation you deserve. Any unauthorised access to your data and the destruction by either deletion or via physical means constitutes a breach. If your info has been involved in an infringement, you must take the necessary steps to solve the situation to avoid more damaging fallout. 

Be quick

If your enterprise becomes the target of hackers or is affected by subpar internal decisions and processes, it's crucial to develop a strategy about how to continue. When it comes to a breach, being fast is essential. If you move quickly, you'll be able to remedy the damage more efficiently. Your reputation can also suffer less of a blow. Customers don't take well to companies subjected to breaches, but many are likely to appreciate a speedy response and find your reaction reassuring. 

The first part is to ascertain the scale of the breach. Get an estimate of the number of records that have been potentially compromised, as well as the information that has been leaked, including names, financial records and e-mail addresses. The following step is to quarantine the affected areas of your system to prevent the breach from spreading and affecting more confidential information. 

It's also vital to develop a business continuity plan. Your company can't afford to cease operations until the digital contravention is resolved. If specific tasks are impossible to perform given their dependence on the compromised information, then you should focus on the ones that can still be carried out. 

Make sure to notify the affected individuals as well. You don't want your clients to find out from the media that their data may have been leaked to unsanctioned third parties. You may find yourself the target of many angry phone calls and emails, and the possibility of your business suffering becomes very high, which is why you should handle it on your terms. 

Data breaches are time-consuming, expensive, and may leave a stain on your business's reputation that will take a long time to clean out. It's better and easier to prevent rather than solve, but when the damage is already done, it's good to have a well-prepared team on your side.