Data breaches can devastate businesses and are becoming more common with continual technological advancements. Data breaches can cost Canadian businesses millions of dollars in lost revenue. The average cost of a data breach in Canada in 2022 was 5.6 million and is expected to increase as malware, and hacking get more sophisticated.
As crucial as preventative measures are, understanding how to respond constructively to a data breach is equally essential for maintaining a functional business.
To help you do this, Tech Masters has created this in-depth guide for managing a data security breach to manage the damage and prevent further attacks on your business.
What to Do After a Data Breach
A significant data breach of sensitive information about your business and customers can significantly damage your reputation and trust from stakeholders. When hackers gain unauthorized access, email addresses, business strategy information, and personal data, including financial data, can be prone to be stolen.
Not only does this make your business vulnerable, but it can also make your customers and internal employees vulnerable to threats such as identity theft. To help you manage a breach of sensitive data, here are the steps you need to take to secure your business.
1. Contain the Breach as Fast as Possible
The first step to managing a sensitive data breach in your business is to ensure you contain the breach as soon as possible. Allowing a breach to continue will allow the cyber attacker to steal information like social insurance numbers and phone numbers.
To protect data like financial information, consider shutting down the affected systems, disconnecting entirely from the internet, or disabling any user accounts that have been hacked.
2. Assess the Amount of Lost Data
After you’ve contained the breach, you must assess the damage. It’s vitally important to identify the type of data that’s been lost, such as credit card information, addresses or personal names.
Not only is this important for reporting to your stakeholders, but you’ll also need to identify your compliance with regulatory requirements like the Personal Information Protections and Electronic Documents Act.
This governs how private sector companies like yours utilize personal data. If there is any data loss, you must report this to PIPEDA as soon as possible. Organizations governed by this act must report any breaches of their security protocols.
3. Notify All of Your Stakeholders
Before you can work to prevent the breach, you’ll need to notify your stakeholders as soon as partners. Your stakeholders may be any customers, suppliers, employees, vendors and business partners, and their data may be the information that has been stolen.
Although this can be an uncomfortable conversation, being transparent about the breach is integral. You should discuss what happened and the data lost in the attack and explain how this happened, including which security protocols failed to protect their personal information. You should compile some steps that they should take to secure their safety.
The theft of their information may make them vulnerable to fraud and identity theft, so you should encourage them to freeze any credit or debit cards and any other accounts that contain their financial information.
Suppose the event is severe and has resulted in significant data loss of sensitive information. In that case, you can also notify law enforcement and regulators, who may conduct a criminal investigation depending on the type of data loss.
4. Assess Your Existing Security Protocols
Cyber-attacks usually result from a vulnerability in your security systems and policies designed to protect your personal information. So, the next step in recovering from a data breach is to assess system vulnerabilities to prevent further breaches.
Aside from your security systems, you should also revisit your employee system security training to avoid any breaches after clicking phishing emails or accidental malware installations. Consider seeking the help of a cyber security consultant who can expertly assess your existing security systems and identify any vulnerabilities in your network.
You can also consult white hat hackers who can use their hacking skills to assess your hardware, software and networks to stop malicious hackers from stealing information for personal gain.
5. Put Preventive Measures in Place
Once you or an independent consultant has identified the security vulnerabilities that made you susceptible to a data breach, it’s integral to put preventative measures in place to minimize future breaches.
Consider consulting with IT support in Edmonton from Tech Masters, who can help you enhance your security protocols and monitor your system 24/7 through server management services to keep your business safe.
6. Share the Results
After locating the vulnerability and monitoring your network to observe the effects of your patching, you should share the outcome with your stakeholders. You should emphasize how you’ve made constructive changes to secure your network and to what impact.
Consider sharing results from a security assessment to show that your remediation efforts have tangible impacts. You should then take the opportunity to reassure your stakeholders that you’re implementing server management protocols to prevent further incidents.
Looking For an IT Support Company in Edmonton?
Do you need an experienced IT support company in Edmonton that can help you monitor your systems and prevent damaging data breaches? Get in touch with Tech Masters now.
We can help keep your business safe with comprehensive server management and anti-virus protection management that can identify unusual activity that can lead to breaches.
With centrally managed systems, we can enhance your business by improving productivity and data protection compliance with robust protocols to prevent attacks. Get in touch today to protect your Edmonton business now.