No company is too big or too small to stay off the radar of hackers and cybercriminals. So whether you’re experiencing a security breach right now or just preparing for the worst, it’s important to know how to recover quickly.
7 Steps to Overcoming a Security Breach
1. Respond to the Issue
Before you move forward, you’ll want to be sure your network is safe from whatever attacked it in the first place. Whether it was the increasingly popular ransomware or a different common virus, your recovery efforts will be in vain if it’s not removed.
2. Fulfill Legal Obligations
If sensitive client or customer information falls into the wrong hands after your business’ security is compromised, you should notify any consumer protection agencies that regulate your industry. The last thing you want to do is get slapped with a hefty fine or lawsuit for being noncompliant.
3. Contact Law Enforcement
Any information related to your breach that you provide to law enforcement officials can help them bring the cybercriminals behind the attack to justice. Also, it helps their computer forensics teams defend the public from future cyberattacks.
4. Notify Clients and Customers
As uncomfortable as it may be, you must tell your clients and customers that your business has suffered a security breach and that their personal information may have fallen into the possession of a malicious party.
When contacting your clients and customers, do the following:
- Be open and sincere
- Admit wrongdoing and accept responsibility
- Explain what happened
- Describe solutions they can implement
- Invite them to have a dialogue with you about the issue
The earlier you notify your customers, the less likely your company name will be irreparably tarnished.
5. Assess the Costs
On average, a single security breach will cost a small business somewhere between $36,000 and $50,000. Between delayed operations and replacing any software or equipment that was lost to the attack, the missed revenue and costs add up quickly.
However, many business owners don’t realize the indirect fees they may incur after a breach. For example, if the breach was the result of employee negligence, the employee in question may have to be fired. Also, you may have to run a public relations campaign to restore your business’ reputation.
6. Introduce New IT Solutions
If your business is lucky enough to survive a security breach, it may change the way you think about technology’s function at your company. Of course, it enables you and your employees to carry out daily operations, but now you know that it also serves as a gateway for cyberattacks.
Consider updating the following at your business to mitigate the chances of a future attack:
- Hardware and equipment
- Security measures
- Data backup policy
- Employee training
- Bring in a third-party IT pro
7. Learn from the Experience
Unfortunately, following the above criteria doesn’t necessarily guarantee you’ll be safe from breaches in the future. Just in case the worst happens and you fall victim to another attack, make sure you have a disaster recovery plan in place. It makes the process much easier, and keeps your losses at a minimum.
Clearly, overcoming a breach isn’t an ideal situation for your business to be in. Stay up-to-date on cybersecurity best practices, because prevention is key.