IT consultant reveals some steps to take after a small business data breach
In a data breach, hackers gain unauthorized access to a business’s data. They can delete, modify, and even hold it for ransom. Businesses can protect themselves by installing IT security infrastructure and software. If your business has been subjected to a data breach, read below the 5 important steps that can drastically minimize your losses.
Inform Your Clients About The Data Breach
- If a data breach has been identified, the first and foremost step is to inform the clients about this breach. This can be done either as an SMS, a phone call, or an email. The business must also specify measures that their clients can take to safeguard their personal information.
Delaying this information can result in serious penalties for the business. Clients entrust their personally identifiable information to businesses and can hold the business responsible for not taking adequate measures for keeping it safe. Experts also advise against downplaying the scale of the data breach. The clients must also be informed about the risks of not taking appropriate and timely measures to secure their data.
Identify The Data Breach Source
- If the data breach notification was received via email, the IT security team must inspect its authenticity. If it is a phishing email, it may be an attempt by hackers to compromise your business’s security. This email must be blocked and reported.
These days, most businesses have an intrusion detection and prevention system installed. This system keeps a log of all security-related events as well as detailed information about files that have been accessed or modified. Using this system, the IT security team can verify if the data breach was successful or not.
Change Passwords Immediately
If the IT security team has verified the data breach, the next logical step is to change passwords. Normally, data breaches are massive and result in several user accounts being compromised. A mass email to all users needs to be sent, that recommends passwords to be changed immediately.
If the passwords are changed quickly enough, the negative consequences of the data breach can be minimized. A changed password will lock out the hackers from the business and stop data theft.
Download Backups From Company Servers
- A data breach will most likely not be limited to a business’s on-site computers. If the business is using cloud storage and cloud servers, they are also at the risk of being compromised by hackers. This security risk can be altogether avoided if the company uses private cloud hosting.
It is imperative that the business starts downloading its data from the company servers, and makes local offline backups. These backups will make sure that the company has a copy of the data, in case the hackers hold it for ransom.
Alert Your IT Security Team & Test Your Security Fix
- If the business has an on-site IT security team, they need to be alerted to start scanning the system for potential security flaws. If the business employs an IT security company, they need to be called for an IT risk assessment.
After the security risk has been identified, the IT security team will install a security fix. This fix will prevent future data breaches. The IT security team will also test this security fix to make sure it works properly.
If you are worried about data breaches affecting your business, you can get in touch with Outsource My IT. We are a team of security specialists working in New Jersey. Simply call us at (973)638-2722 and our specialists will conduct a security risk assessment of your business. We offer a range of IT security services to keep your business’s and your client’s data secure.