We like to focus our efforts on preventing data breaches and cybersecurity attacks, but it’s important to know what you should do if you do fall victim to such an attack. Let’s go over how you should respond to a data breach and what you must consider to come out on the successful side of it.
First, let’s outline what a data breach response plan is and how it can guide your business in difficult situations like this.
A Data Breach Response Plan is a Field Guide to Business Continuity
Essentially, it’s a guide that you can follow to make sure that you experience minimal damage and disruption in the event of a data breach. Here are some elements you should consider for your plan:
- The definition you use to describe what qualifies as a breach
- The internal procedures used to share news of the breach
- The contact details for each member of the team responsible for dealing with the breach
- The procedures to identify the cause of the breach, to isolate all impacted systems, and to notify all required parties
- The list of reparations to be made to those whose data was impacted, like identity theft protection and credit monitoring
If you have this plan in place, you can eliminate much of the higher costs associated with responding to a data breach. This helps you maximize uptime and to ensure that your reputation stays in check amongst your important stakeholders and clients.
The Steps of Data Breach Response Development
1. Identify Potential Vulnerabilities
First, you’ll need to know what types of vulnerabilities might impact your operations. This might include things like employee error or intent, data loss, disruptions of various services, and other types of problems, as well as the hits your reputation might take due to potential legal fallout.
2. Assign Roles for Your Team Members
A data breach is a serious affair, and you need everyone on-board to help in whatever way they can. It’s important that you document the responsibilities of your team members in each department to ensure that they know what must be done should you face down a data breach.
3. Have Assorted Protections in Place
We always recommend that you have several different types of security solutions in place to cover as many bases as possible. Make sure that your team follows a strict password policy, and make sure that you are practicing redundancy in your data infrastructure. This should include both your on-site and off-site storage, and they should all be protected to ensure your business can survive any data breach disaster.
4. Establish Processes
Have clearly established and defined processes for all parts of the threat management cycle, from identifying causes, communicating with your team, to isolating and removing threats. You should also periodically test these processes to ensure they all work properly. Furthermore, it’s critical that you have a list of all parties who might need to be notified of a breach, whether it’s a list of clients, the media, or the government.
5. Review and Adjust
No breach response protocol is going to be perfect right off the bat. You’ll need to review it and adjust it as your business grows. Plus, threats are always growing more powerful and more dangerous, so you’ll need to address developments in this way, too.
We Can Help You Establish a Response for Data Breaches… Or, Ideally, Prevent Them
Nexela can be your trusted go-to cybersecurity resource. To learn more, reach out to us at (215) 525-3223.