Businesses of all types rely on technology for almost all aspects of their daily activities. Of course, this leaves them open to being targeted by cyber criminals. Fortunately, the right incident response breach plan can limit the negative impact that such a high-tech attack can have on a company and its employees.
The following recommendations will help a business of any size respond quickly and effectively to a potentially devastating breach.
1. Identify the Problem
Before an information technology team or an outside firm can begin addressing the root problem, everyone involved must be confident in the scope of the issue. There are a few basic details to iron out during this phase of the plan.
First, determine how long the information has been compromised. Discussing the details with whichever employee or contractor first discovered the breach can be a great way to compile preliminary information.
From there, begin to identify which areas of business operations might be impacted by the cyber attack and take appropriate steps to limit the damage. If it is immediately obvious where the hacker gained entry to the system, start addressing the underlying vulnerabilities as soon as possible.
2. Contain the Fallout
Even before all the details are ironed out, the most pressing issue of almost any incident response breach approach involves determining exactly what is at stake. Instead of acting impulsively to delete large quantities of data from the system in hopes of preventing further damage, be sure to preserve as much information as possible in the hopes of addressing the business cybersecurity shortcomings that allowed for such a breach in the first place.
While deletion is probably not a good idea, experts do recommend moving as many systems as possible offline. The more devices and programs that are left connected to the Internet after a cyber attack, the more likely that hackers can continue siphoning off valuable information and potentially threatening additional areas of the business.
3. Create a Plan of Action
With the help of experts in the field of cybersecurity, any business can prepare for a path that will put a dangerous data breach in the past while setting the stage for a more secure future. Among the most common prescribed remedies are patches, updates, and new protocols designed to increase security for all aspects of the company’s operational system.
Compile as much evidence as possible during this phase of the plan and ensure that it is all delivered to whichever department or entity will be handling the next steps in the process.
4. Prepare for the Future
Although it’s natural for anyone facing a serious data breach to be singularly focused on the short-term impact, there comes a point at which long-term safety should become a priority. In addition to ensuring that all of the fixes and recommendations in the aforementioned plan of action are implemented in a timely manner, this final step should also include communicating clear instructions to all employees who will have any hand in carrying out business through any of the company’s online systems.
Reacting to a data breach of any type can be frustrating and overwhelming for an entire business. Following a clear series of steps such as those outlined above, however, can help make sense of the situation and get things back to normal as quickly as possible.