Modern businesses are under tremendous pressure to keep cyber threats at bay.
Data breaches are among the most dreaded types of attacks. They represent unauthorized access to confidential or sensitive information. Various fraudulent activities accompany them and they affect companies of all shapes and sizes.
In the wake of such an event, the room for error is minimal. The data breach response must be swift, effective, and transparent. A slow and inadequate reaction triggers various risks.
You could run into government fines, undermine consumer trust, and waste precious resources. As you can see, it’s not just about monetary losses, but much more.
The good news is, others have been where you are now. You can tap into available pools of IT security expertise and learn invaluable lessons. The faster you detect and thwart the attack, the better for your organization.
Here is how to shield your precious data treasury and gain the peace of mind.
Data Breaches 1:1
In the information economy, data breaches have become rampant.
Technologies like cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) have expanded the defense perimeter. They’ve made the task of keeping attacks at bay more daunting and complex.
The consequences of breaches are varied, crippling, and far-reaching. Hackers are after data because it’s a highly valuable asset. In particular, they are hell-bent on acquiring sensitive and personal information.
Notice there are four common types of data breach attacks:
- Denial of Service (DoS)
They involve various software solutions and scams that exploit your weaknesses. Make sure you know what you’re up against.
Then, to boost your security, you have to plan well ahead of time. There’s no better way to guard your data assets, as well as computer systems/networks. After all, time is always working against you.
Companies that manage to contain a breach in less than 30 days can save up to $1 million when compared to those that take more time to do the same. Another risk factor is related to fines that you encounter in cases of laggard responses.
A Strategic Approach
The response plan is a strategy detailing what happens immediately after a data breach.
The chief goal is to ensure early detection and minimize the damage. This is no small feat, which requires you to cover a lot of ground. You can start by getting familiar with the factors that affect response time.
The first one is general preparedness, also called security posture. To improve it, do the following.
Set up a budget for obtaining ample staffing and security technology. The former aspect should include measures such as company-wide encryption. Essential tools come in the form of anti-malware and antivirus programs.
Moving on, inform all employees on their responsibilities during a breach crisis. Provide necessary training to decrease the likelihood of negligence and human error. Promote best practices such as strong password use.
Here, the chief executive security officer (CISO) plays a pivotal role. This senior-level position sets the vision and coordinates strategies for protecting information assets. They can decide, for instance, who gets access to what kind of information.
Beyond that, perform regular security audits to weed out vulnerabilities and assess risks. Develop programs and policies aimed at tackling third-party risks as well.
Laying the Tech Foundations
We’ve already mentioned technology, but it should be addressed separately.
After all, it’s the second component of a response plan. Security automation is a trend enabling us to keep up the pace with ever more sophisticated threats. It reduces response times and the average cost of a data breach.
Therefore, leverage software tools for repetitive and tedious security tasks. Purchase a solution that provides a bird’s-eye view of all your data. Keep it updated at all times to ensure the maximum level of protection.
At the same time, be wary of IoT devices like office assistants. They are constantly connected and tend to feature lackluster security protection. Hence, they often act as weak links that hackers seek to take advantage of.
Finally, notice Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies can expose you to more risks. While quite convenient, they compromise the effectiveness of security measures.
A Matter of Compliance
Adhering to relevant state and international regulations is imperative. Among other things, privacy frameworks define rules for data breach notification times.
GDPR, for instance, is the most important overhaul of privacy regulation worldwide. It obliges businesses to report data breaches within 72 hours of detection.
Falling shy of this deadline is associated with hefty penalties. They sit at €20 million or 4% of annual revenue, whichever is higher.
In the US, we see similar rules being instated. NYDFS requires business organizations to disclose data breaches within 72 hours too. Other states, such as California, are poised to follow suit.
And besides, being compliant isn’t just a way to avoid fines. It makes your security baseline more robust and enhances your ability to react in a timely manner.
The wise thing to do is to take a proactive approach. Test different plans and scenarios to see how you hold up. Brace yourself for impact sooner rather than later.
If you lack in house know-how or resources, schedule data breach response counseling. Experts can help you come up with a suitable response plan and notification measures.
Data Breach Response Done Right
Data breaches have become commonplace in the business ecosystem.
What you have to do is create a well thought out data breach response plan for discovering and containing attacks. See to it that security preparedness, compliance, and technology all work in your favor.
Assemble a dedicated team and line up tech resources. Leverage automation platforms to streamline the workflow. Stay up-to-date with legislation updates and shifting industry standards.
You should be able to improve response times to steer clear of potentially business-sinking ramifications. This is a way to preserve the integrity of data and consumer trust in one stroke.
Feel free to browse our business category do find other actionable tips. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.