Data breaches are said to be easier to prevent than to deal with the consequences later. However, this is far from always possible. What if the information leak has already occurred? What should a company do after a data breach?
The Most Important Steps to Do in the Case of Data Breach
- First and foremost: looking for the source of the leak.
The most important answer to the question of what a company should do after a data breach is not to panic. Information leakage is a really dangerous incident for any organization that allows it, which in no case should be ignored. But if you approach the elimination of its consequences with a sober head, then it will be much easier to avoid a lot of damage than in the case when the fear of them interferes.
- What data has been compromised?
If a serious data breach has been confirmed, the service provider is likely to list pieces of data that could have been disclosed. Of course, not all companies detect violations in time, and not all report violations immediately.
- Source found, what’s next?
Well, the source of the leak has been found. The next step is to establish who might have known confidential information. Sometimes, if it was forwarded to competitors or journalists, it will be easier to negotiate with them and pay them money to hush up the incident.
- Reduction of the amount of compensated damage.
If you are a data controller, you may be required to pay damages to customers. If you are a data processor on behalf of your client, your customer, the operator of personal data, has the right to do so. The amount of compensation will depend on the damage incurred.
How to Investigate a Data Breach?
No company is completely immune from information leakage or cyberattack. Such incidents, unfortunately for business owners, are regular. After all, any mistake will cause huge financial damage, and in the worst case, it can serve as an impetus to the loss of market positions and a step towards bankruptcy. So, how to investigate a data breach?
The main reason is the absence or lack of information security measures (IS). This really matters, because if the data is not protected, then any employee can take it:
- forward the content of corporate correspondence;
- copy information to external media;
- extract data from the PC of other employees;
- install malware to copy, transfer or track data;
- take a picture of the image on the computer monitor, including documents opened in program windows;
- print working documentation, or make a scan or photocopy of it.
Data leaks happen all the time. There are two important theses in this topic: there is no 100% protection, but it is possible and necessary to reduce the number of attacks and the scale of harm. Scenarios of personal data leakage and the associated risks are individual for each company and depend on the specifics of its activities, technologies used, security mechanisms implemented, etc. The reasons for the leak can be, for example, the activities of hackers, erroneous or malicious actions of an employee.
A business data breach can lead to multi-million dollar losses. The manager left, taking with him a database of buyers – get ready for a churn of customers: perhaps he will simply lure them into competitors. Another company became aware of internal developments – perhaps they will be the first to release a cool product based on them and collect all the profits.