More companies are falling victim to cyberattacks, as a wide range of harmful software and social engineering schemes threaten to compromise the personal information and online safety of their clients. With cybercrime rates on the rise every year, it’s important for businesses of all sizes to have a recovery plan in place to mitigate any losses. In the unfortunate event of a data breach, these are the steps you should take to recover.
1. Identify and contain the breach
On average, companies don’t know about data breaches or cyberattacks until at least 200 days after they’ve occurred. As soon as you become aware of a security incident, the first step is to identify and contain the problem, then document the following:
- When it took place
- How it will affect customers
- What assets were affected
- Who are the victims
- The type of attack
To contain and remove the issue, your IT department should be ready to spring into action by separating sensitive data from the network, resetting all affected logins, reinstalling affected files, disconnecting affected hosts, removing files installed by the attack, and applying security patches, if necessary.
2. Inform your customers promptly
Large companies don’t have a history of a responding to cyberattacks in a timely manner. While they react quickly to contain the breach, it is often months before they address the general public, or even those impacted by the incident. This can lead to class-action lawsuits, marred reputations, and the exodus of massive amounts of customers.
The solution is to ensure that you have a response plan ready long before any cybercrime has occurred. Liaise with your public relations and marketing departments to prepare communications that you can issue in the event of a data breach, including information about compensation and any steps you’re taking to prevent future security incidents, such as implementing new cybersecurity protocols. When the time comes to distribute this information, involve your IT team to fill in the specific details.
3. Prevent future breaches
In the event of a data breach, it is important that you have the right professionals on board to help your business recover. According to IBM, enlisting the help of cybersecurity experts, including a chief information security officer, business manager, and incident response teams, can save millions in your company’s efforts to contain a data breach and respond to the affected parties.
Companies can also lower their defense costs by investing in online security technologies. Research by Ponemon Institute found that security intelligence systems saved companies an average of $3.7 million while encryption technology saved companies $1.4 million per year. Using advanced firewalls saved them $2.5 million.
4. Tighten up your legal defense
After having information compromised by a data breach, it is not uncommon for customers to sue the company responsible. With Yahoo facing a class-action lawsuit in the wake of its recent data breach that affected over 500 million accounts, it is important for companies to prepare for the fact that they may be taken to court for allowing a hacker access to their customers’ personal information.
The Department of Justice advises business owners to form a relationship with local law enforcement before cyber incidents occur. This establishes a point-of-contact in the event of a data breach to whom you can report the crime.
Legal counsel should also be retained before any cybercrimes have the chance to are committed. Business managers should ensure that their legal team has experience with cyber incident management, including the knowledge to guide you when reporting the breach to customers, and navigating liability for taking corrective measures.
Companies should also proactive measures to prevent cyberattacks from happening in the first place. Being prepared and acting quickly are vital to helping your company recover from a cyberattack as effectively as possible.
For more in-depth advice on how to recover from a cyberattack, read the full article on Malwarebytes Labs.