Data Breach Occurred at Your Company? Now What?

Have you ever thought about what you would do if a data breach occurred at your company? Do you have a plan of attack if it does? Many business owners believe an actual data breach won’t happen to them and therefore don’t prepare for one. With cybersecurity threats on the rise, it isn’t a question of if it will happen but when.

Many companies are aware of the risks that come with these breaches and take the steps necessary to prevent a data breach from happening, but nothing is completely infallible. Big name companies such as Target, Home Depot and Twitter are just a few well-known companies that have fallen victim to security breaches.

To start with the basics, let’s go over what a security breach actually is. It’s any sensitive, protected or confidential data that has been viewed, stolen or used by unauthorized personnel. With that being said, read on for a few tips from Elite IT to apply if a data breach ever occurs at your company.

1. Identify the Root of the Issue
First and foremost, you need to address the issue immediately, without delay. Find the root of the breach and plug the hole. Once you’re confident that you’ve successfully closed the breach, then determine what was stolen. It’s important to determine where the breach started and then consult with your IT team immediately after for the next steps. If possible, move all compromised equipment offline but don’t shut down your machines. Then add clean machines in their place to prevent the data breach from spreading.

2. Form a Task Force
It’s worth considering bringing in a third party IT provider in the case of a data breach. If you have a current IT provider, the data breach occurred on their watch, so having a new, unbiased company come in to assess what might have caused it would be very beneficial. This is commonly called a security, audit, and control process. Elite IT has over 30 years of experience in advanced technical support services and systems management, and has assisted many companies with serious technical issues such as data breaches and developing backup and recovery processes.It’s better to have a plan in place before a breach occurs so you know what steps and processes you will take to solve the issue effectively when it happens. What that’s often called in the IT community is doing a “pen test” aka: penetration test. Penetration testing is the practice of testing a computer system, network or Web application to find weaknesses that a hacker could exploit. Contact us for a free quote and consultation.

3. Ensure it Doesn’t Happen Again
After a data breach, change all company passwords. It’s better to be safe than sorry by changing every company password in this situation. Changing every password, even those that were not compromised, is the best way to ensure another data breach does not occur. To learn how to create strong passwords that are easy to remember check out our “First Line of Defense: A Strong Password” post here.

4. Notify Outside Parties
It’s best to notify outside parties, whether it be those customers and/or clients affected, public relations department or local authorities as soon as possible. It’s important to do this early in order to avoid further backlash and to show that you have nothing to hide. Majority of states have laws set in place that determine timetables of when to inform those affected or other prominent parties, so be sure to review those guidelines first.

With up to 51 records stolen per second, you’re not the only one at risk. Don’t be another company that falls into the hacker’s trap by being unprepared. Call Elite IT and/or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter to learn more about how to better protect your company from a costly data breach.

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