Data Breach–Now What?

matrix-434033Data breaches are no walk in the park. Unfortunately, 43% of companies in 2014 experienced data breaches,  resulting in billions of dollars in losses and recovery expenses. Once it happens, what do you do? Here are some tips:

  1. Isolate Your Network
    Change your account information for all servers and online accounts that contain important and/or sensitive information. You will want to isolate or take offline any servers and parts of the system that contain this information so that the hacker is not receiving more information from you.
  2. Evaluate Losses
    Find out what has been compromised and how vital that information is to your company’s future. If you have an IT staff, this would most likely fall into their line of work. If not, you can hire a professional team to investigate.
  3. Find the Source
    Where did this breach come from? Things as simple as opening a virus-embedded email attachment or slight faults by IT can allow hackers into your systems. Find out how your information was hacked in order to protect your business in the future.
  4. Inform Law Enforcement
    You will want to contact law enforcement to report your data breach. Cyberthreats can be reported to Department of Homeland Security and/or your local police branch. By contacting the authorities, they may be able to help find the hacker. Be sure to disclose any and all things regarding the hack to provide them with the highest opportunity to assist you.
  5. Contact Your Lawyer
    The unfortunate thing about this is that the information taken is not solely your data, but your employees’, business partners’, and clients’ data as well. That being said, they do have the right to sue your company for not keeping their information secure as was agreed upon. To best prepare yourself for this, contact your lawyer and disclose everything. He or she will know the next steps to take.
  6. Take a Look at Backups and Logs
    Your company should have main server backups to ensure fast recovery of information in times of disaster. Logs from these backups can also be used to compare network changes pre- and post-breach, which may help find the source of the hack.
  7. Train Your Employees
    Many breaches are caused by human fault, so it’s important to train your employees on how to avoid phishing attempts. Testing them periodically may serve as good refreshers for your employees as well. Inform them of what can happen, but to achieve highest attention, show them how it can impact them personally.
  8. Look at Your IT Department
    In the case of a data breach, issues may lie in your IT department. Do you have enough IT support? What is the quality of the IT services you have? Are independent network security checks being implemented? The best way to solve these issues is to invest in your IT. Perhaps you need more IT workers, more experienced or qualified professionals, or maybe you need an outside source to take over your IT needs. No matter the outcome, things will not improve unless the necessary steps are taken to ensure that your security needs are being met.

With new technology being created each day, hackers are becoming more and more dangerous. Their tactics can easily fool people and put your company’s security at risk. By following these tips and taking proper measures, though, you can position yourself in a place of utmost security.

If you are in need of more IT support, fret not! Heart is here to meet your security needs. Check out our IT networking and security services, then call us at 309-427-7000 to get started.