There are many different reasons for a data breach, including an innocent mistake or malicious activity by hackers. Regardless of the cause, there are some key steps that you can take to minimize the damage. Follow the given steps below.
1. Develop protocols for reporting
Innocent mistakes can result in data breaches, which is why it’s important for companies to develop protocols for reporting incidents. However, data breaches can also be the result of an intentionally malicious act. For this reason, a company should avoid creating a culture of fear. Instead, it should work to minimize the damage caused by an incident.
The most common cause of data breaches is human error. An employee may accidentally send a sensitive email to the wrong person, or a hacker may modify a malicious program to make it unrecognizable by antivirus software. Both causes of data breaches are related to employee misconduct, but human error is usually much more damaging.
While most data breaches are the result of malicious activity, the impact of insider data breaches is significant. Some studies have shown that an insider data breach can cost a company up to 20 percent of its annual revenue. The impact may be similar, but the best way to deal with an accidental breach is different from one caused by a malicious act.
Data breaches are costly and can severely damage the reputation and finances of a business. They also undermine the trust of customers and can destroy a business’s operations. Companies like Yahoo, Target, and Equifax have suffered major losses as a result of data breaches. Government organizations may also be at risk of being a victim of a data breach because of highly sensitive information they hold. In some cases, the information obtained in an incident can be used for military operations or political deals.
2. Protect your data by sending encrypted emails
A data breach can occur when malicious criminals try to steal the confidential information of an organization. This can be done by both insiders and external attackers. Insiders may be current or former employees or third parties that have access to an organization’s assets.
Malicious criminals can also target organizations by sending malicious emails and other email attachments. This data can be used for a variety of purposes, such as identity theft, fraud and other crimes. You must protect your data by sending encrypted emails. In some cases, malicious criminals may be motivated by financial gain or to prove they can do it. For example, the 2015 VTech data breach may have exposed the personal information of up to 5 million adults and 200,000 children.
While data breaches can happen anywhere, they have become more common in recent years. In 2013 Yahoo was hacked, exposing personal information of nearly 500 million people. In addition, a hack at Marriott International affected 500 million guests. A data breach can have devastating effects on an organization. Not only can it cause identity theft, but it can also damage the organization’s reputation or business rights. Most data breaches are the result of a vulnerability in the organization’s security posture. Cybercriminals exploit these gaps to steal sensitive information.
3. Notify Federal authorities
After a data breach, companies must follow certain steps to notify affected individuals and law enforcement agencies. First, they must catalog the types of data they collect and store and determine which information may be affected by the breach. Then, they must determine how they will contact affected individuals to help them understand what happened and how they can protect their own data. With cyber-attacks and ransomware on the rise, this is especially important. In addition, laws are changing and requiring shorter notice periods for breaches.
In June 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation came into effect. It requires organizations to notify EU citizens within 72 hours of becoming aware of a data breach. This new law applies to organizations located inside and outside of the EU that monitor or offer goods or services to EU data subjects. In addition, this new regulation requires organizations to disclose breach details to the data subject and provide them with the means to protect themselves.
Companies are also required to notify federal authorities. Federal laws specify that breach notifications must be made within 72 hours, and in the case of ransomware, within 24 hours. The notification requirements are different for different states, but in most cases, companies must notify the government as soon as possible after discovering the breach. It also applies to businesses that are involved in critical infrastructure sectors, like the energy, chemicals, financial, health care, and information technology industries.
While the legal burden of liability for breach notifications varies between jurisdictions, most laws place responsibility on the data owner. Failing to properly encrypt, secure, or control network access can increase their liability significantly. Failure to notify customers may also result in injunctions. Furthermore, the monetary penalties can be significant. Some states have caps on the total penalties per incident or consumer. These penalties can be as high as six figures.
4. Changing passwords can mitigate the damage caused by a data breach
If your company has experienced a data breach, the first step to reducing the damage is changing the passwords of any accounts that have been compromised. Additionally, you should not reuse passwords. By doing this, you are increasing the risk of further data breaches. In addition, you should determine the source of the data breach and hire a cyber investigator to help you. The right cyber investigator will help you protect your company from future breaches.
Changing passwords is an important step that most organizations require after a data breach. Users tend to reuse passwords or change them slightly, which makes them easy for hackers to guess. Additionally, frequent password changes increase the likelihood of users writing down new passwords.
If a data breach occurs, an attacker will have access to your data and can cross-reference your password with other breaches to find other passwords they can use to access your information. Another step that can minimize the damage caused by a data breach is to use a password manager. These tools will allow you to manage all your passwords in one place.
5. Implement proactive data security strategy
In order to prevent a data breach, companies need to implement a proactive data security strategy. This approach involves creating a security plan and performing regular security audits to make sure that their systems are secure. Additionally, they should create a disaster recovery plan to minimize confusion if a data breach does occur. The plan should include contact persons, disclosure strategies, and mitigation steps. Companies should also educate employees about the threat of a data breach and how they can prevent it.
Companies can also use a trusted VPN service for accessing the sensitive information. If you still want to check data leakage, you can perform a DNS leak test to check whether data is leaking or not.
The average time to contain a breach is 280 days. However, the damage can be severe. Fortunately, organizations can reduce the impact of a data breach by following 30 best practices. Companies must take advantage of the latest technologies and tools that can help them protect their systems from data breaches.
Regardless of industry, preventing a data breach is essential for protecting personal and corporate information. The impact of a data breach can be huge for a business, not only financially, but also in terms of reputation. Many companies have been the victim of data breaches, including Target, Yahoo, and Equifax. Data breaches can also affect government organizations, which may have highly confidential information accessible to unauthorized people.
Data breaches can happen even in organisations with strict privacy policies. Financial institutions can help prevent a data breach by checking accounts for suspicious activity and closing them if necessary. However, it is often difficult to admit fault in an organisation, especially when a breach involves sensitive personal information. However, it is essential to be open about data breaches, because it can help your organisation meet its legal obligations.
The Bottom Line
Data breaches are stressful and can lead to loss of personal information. Businesses should regularly conduct security checks to reduce the risk of future incidents. Individuals can also take preventative measures such as not clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown senders. Report suspicious emails or phone calls to your IT department. Additionally, ensuring that you never use the same password for different accounts is a good idea.
Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.