Emergency Preparedness: Data Breach Protocol

When it comes to data breaches, there are plenty of things to consider. This is especially the case because cyber-crimes have drastically increased in recent years, leaving businesses of all sizes as vulnerable as ever. While there is no way to totally avoid data breaches, there are plenty of things to do to prepare your company to be able to respond swiftly to these matters and minimize the damages. With that in mind, here is a list of things you can do to respond to a data breach.

Within the First 24 Hours

As with most crimes, the first 24 hours following the incident are the most important. Within the first 24 hours after a cybersecurity breach, you should:

  • Record the time of the incident you were alerted of the breach.
  • Alert all team members of your response team to begin with your response efforts.
  • Preserve the evidence by securing the area in which the data breach was initiated.
  • Prevent further data leaks from occurring by locking down all equipment that was involved in the breach.
  • Document everything. Take note of who discovered the breach, when and where they discovered it, as well as the type of breach that occurred.
  • Interview all parties. Since data breaches are complex and can be caused or initiated by virtually anyone for any reason, make sure you interview everyone who was involved in any capacity. This will enable you to make sure you have all the details to move forward and fix the issue as soon as possible.
  • Review and initiate the notification process. Go over who will be notifying team members, customers, etc. You should then start making sure all notifications have either gone out or will be going out soon.
  • Conduct a risk analysis. This will help you better understand who the breach has impacted and how, as well as how it could cause issues in the future. 
  • Contact law enforcement. Depending on the severity of the breach, you may want to contact law enforcement.

Next Steps

After you have completed the above steps, you need to:

  • Identify and remove all malicious software.
  • Notify all your partners who may be affected by the breach.
  • Conduct forensic research to better understand why the breach happened, and to prevent it from happening again in the future.
  • Fulfill all legal obligations by checking the laws in your area and making sure everyone who should have been notified has been.
  • Create a report to notify all leaders and owners of why the issue happened, what it entailed, and what everyone can do to prevent it from happening again.
  • Eliminate any activities that may conflict with recovery efforts.
  • Assess the response to decide if further action needs to be taken.
  • Ensure all team members have been educated about the breach to ensure they are doing their part to help with prevention.

Overall, data breaches are detrimental to a business, and difficult to repair. However, by having an established protocol in place, you will be able to minimize the damage and prevent the issue from happening again. If you need additional help with data breaches and cybersecurity, be sure to consult a managed service provider in Kansas that you can trust.

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