In today’s technological world, any company is at risk for a data breach. Statistics show 43 percent of businesses experienced a data breach in the past year. This percentage is only trending upward. It is essential for companies to have a system in place to respond to security breaches to minimize long-term damage and ensure consumer confidence.
Why have a response system in place?
Recent trends indicate small businesses aren’t taking security breaches seriously enough. Almost 59 percent don’t have a plan to report or respond to a cyber attack. To protect your company’s data, you must have a system in place, instead of trying to play catch up after the breach occurs. Data breaches will affect your business in substantial ways. If your company suffers a cyber attack, your will lose goodwill with your customers.
A solid plan helps to minimize any loss of revenue and protect future sales. In addition to thwarting any collateral damage from the breach, a response plan can also reduce your liability in lawsuits from consumers, vendors and other sources.
Are individuals within the company vulnerable?
Safeguarding a company’s data infrastructure is of paramount importance, but employees also require protection. If one employee’s laptop is compromised, the entire company’s data is in jeopardy. Implementing LifeLock business solutions as a part of your company’s data breach preparedness plan will safely ensure and alert you and your employees of any identity breach or theft. Protecting your employees is the best way to help the company keep its customers’ data safe.
What steps need to be taken after a breach?
Does it spell disaster for your company? Not necessarily. Target survived a massive security breach where 40 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen from purchases made in stores during November and December 2013. They employed a quick response to remedy the situation. Create a thorough plan of attack ahead of time, including the following tasks:
- Investigate the source of the breach: Determine what information is compromised and contact your IT specialist to conduct a security sweep of how much data is lost and what areas are most vulnerable.
- Review your data breach response plan: Ideally this plan is in place prior to the breach. It contains your state’s laws and has the list of entities you must contact in the event of a breach. Having a document in place will avoid a scatter-brained approach in responding to the data breach.
- Report the breach to law enforcement agencies: Contact the appropriate authorities about the breach and the legal measures to implement to help protect your company.
- Contact your insurance company about liability issues: If you’ve purchased a cyber liability policy, it is prudent to discuss these matters with the insurance company to determine what they financially cover in the event of a breach.
- Let customers know that their information was potentially compromised: Customers must be informed about the breach immediately, a policy which arts and crafts retailer Michaels employed after its customers’ data was breached in 2013. With this kind of rapid warning, Michaels’ reputation was preserved.
- Repair any security weaknesses: With a security audit, you will presumably learn where the system is most vulnerable. Don’t wait on remedying these problems.
- Monitor for fraud: Offer fraud protection to your customers to help with any issues of theft which may arise due to breach.