Nobody likes to think that their company could be involved in a data breach. But as businesses become more data-centric and data becomes more valuable, thieves and cybercriminals are increasingly using data breaches to make a profit. Breaches are happening at a record pace – and are likely to become even more common in the future.
So, if your company does become involved in a data breach, there are a few best practices you should follow. Here’s what you need to know from experienced disaster recovery in Vancouver professionals.
#1. Consult Your Disaster Recovery Plan
The first thing you should do is consult your Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). If you don’t have a DRP, you need to create one immediately.
Your DRP should contain everything that you will need to know about responding to a breach – from how to contact authorities, to which IT teams will help solve the breach and other information about how to respond in an emergency.
It will be your guide throughout the entire process – so it’s absolutely critical to have a thorough, well-documented DRP, and for your staff to be trained on its use.
#2. Take The Affected Systems Offline Immediately
You need to remove the affected databases and servers from the network immediately, to prevent further data loss or breach of your data. This is the only way to be completely sure that a hacker or another malicious third party can no longer access the database which was compromised.
#3. Inform Authorities, Stakeholders, And Customers Immediately
You should inform authorities, stakeholders and upper management, and customers about the breach – in that order.
Start by contacting your local police department. They will likely be able to direct you to other agencies who may need to be involved in the investigation. Next, contact your supervisor, so that the rest of the corporate management structure can be informed.
Your managers and supervisors should then put together a press release or another method by which your customers and clients can be informed about the data breach. Specific details about the data loss should be included, if possible – but they can be left out if they are secret, or if the extent of the breach is currently unknown.
#4. Determine The Extent Of The Data Loss
Determining the extent of the data loss is a critical step. If internal databases with proprietary information were compromised – or if customer information like names, addresses, credit cards, and other information are compromised, this is a serious emergency.
In contrast, if the breach only affected a minor database or backup server, it may not be nearly as serious or severe.
#5. Secure Or Fix The Issue That Caused The Problem
You should use all of your IT resources – as well as consultants, if necessary – to determine the cause of the breach and make sure that it doesn’t happen again. It is absolutely essential to lock down your existing servers and applications and patch out any other existing vulnerabilities. Leave no stone unturned.
#6. Consider An IT Security Audit
Even after you have fixed the issue that allowed for a data breach, the rest of your systems may not be secure – and you may not have the resources to inspect each individual system.
If this is the case, it’s a good idea to hire an external IT consulting firm to perform an IT security audit. This will restore the confidence of customers and stakeholders, and ensure that any other potential security issues are addressed by your IT team.
Follow These Steps To Recover Quickly From A Data Breach
Responding properly to a data breach can be the difference between resuming normal business operations in just a few hours or days – or going out of business permanently. So make sure that you know how to respond to data breaches, and that you take the steps to protect your company from future vulnerabilities.