How to Clean Up the Mess: Surviving a Data Breach

April 14, 2015
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ImageHere’s a scary thought: Nearly half (43%) of all companies experienced a data breach last year, most of which took weeks to discover.

ImageHere’s a scary thought: Nearly half (43%) of all companies experienced a data breach last year, most of which took weeks to discover. For many businesses, these data breaches were catastrophic to the point of bankruptcy (the average cost of a single compromised record being more than $194).

It isn’t necessarily the cost of compromised records that drives businesses to the ground. Lack of a proper response strategy is a major contributing factor to why businesses fail to bounce back after an attack. After all, data breaches are not 100% preventable – so in the chance you do get hacked, it’s important you have the proper recovery and response plans in place. Below are a few tips to help you get started:

Accountability and Transparency

It isn’t easy telling your customers that their private information may have been compromised, potentially putting their livelihoods at risk. However, not telling them is even worse, and will completely ruin your reputation.

One of the most important parts of running a business is making sure you take accountability for everything bad (and good) that happens, and not beating around the bush when doing so. If your company suffers a data breach, make sure to issue a response to your customers as soon as possible. Having several statements written beforehand by a legal expert can help you expedite this process.

Fraud Protection

Issuing an apologetic statement to your customers after a data breach is the very least you can do. Now that their private data is exposed, you need to take steps to protect them from fraud and identity theft.

Prepare for this by establishing a relationship with a trustworthy identity theft protection company beforehand, ideally one who works closely with top credit reporting agencies. In the event that your customers’ data does get compromised, identity theft protection will monitor their credit for any anomalies and protect against them.

Find and Fix the Threat

Before resuming any regular business activity that involves customer data, you’ll want to find and fix the threat. Unfortunately, doing so can can be difficult without the right tools and resources. Protecting your website with a scan tool is a great place to start, which can provide continuous scanning and automatic malware removal.

Has your company suffered from a data breach? If so, what did you do to reduce the damages and recover from an attack?