How to Recover from Data Breach? A Step-by-Step Guide to Create an Effective Response Plan
In U.S., over 48% of organizations fall victim to data breach incidents each year. Such damages inflict a losses worth millions of dollar, incur uncertain downtimes corporates to suffer, severe business opportunities and may put a lasting dent to their brand reputation.
As quickly as a data breach takes place in any organization, the first response from the enterprise is usually to curb any further financial damage. Ideally though, security experts suggest that the response should be about limiting the scope of damage holistically; protecting the data from being lost further, containing the attack, complying with regulatory bodies and coming up with reputation management strategies for your business.
In order for a corporate business to apply these recovery measures, your business should draft a response plan that addresses a rehearsed approach to mitigate greater loss. The contingency plan should be so designed, and internalized by the employees, that in case of a data breach incident your company should be able to control the situation from worsening within the first 24 hours from the breach.
To encourage you to adopt a similar response plan, here is a break-up of what steps to take in the critical aftermath of the data breach.
1. Take a Stock of the Damage
Assessing the nature and intensity of the data breach should be the number one priority of the recovery plan. Instead of only focussing on calculating the financial loss, your business should check if any security loopholes still persist in your network. If, for example, a wireless device has been stolen or compromised during the breach, the IT team should work towards disconnecting it from the network and wiping corporate data from its storage. If your servers suffered from a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, your IT department should enforce automation control to redirect trusted web traffic to a backup server while your firewall keeps combating the bad traffic from the malicious source.
2. Designate Roles
Just like the IT team is supposed to automatically start cleaning up the security mess, your company should assign individuals and team who can automatically assume their respective duties to handle legal affairs, containment issues, communication with the stakeholders, financial assessment, etc. This process-oriented step will save time and minimize confusion among the team about how to go about controlling the breach.
3. Log Facts and Investigate
Documenting is an often overlooked step in the data loss course correction, and yet – one of the most important ones. To avoid breaches from taking place again, or to better prepare for impending threats in the future, your organization should log every detail in a chronological draft, fact by fact, and have it for record. Your company’s board members, the forensic investigators and your clients will expect a detailed explanation and reasoning behind the attack, and how was it made possible. Logging facts will also give you an opportunity to identify possible loopholes in your security chain and patch the problem accordingly.
After the careful assessment of data damage, the investigation of its cause and effects and implementation of remedial steps, it’s time for your network to get up to the speed again. To ensure the timely recovery, your team should carry out a thorough review to make changes in the team, privileges to data access, existing security policy, individual roles and so on. This can be implemented for time-being or permanently, depending on what course your company wants to take for the future to ensure stricter security rules.
Besides the above mentioned steps, your organization should also value the lessons learned during the breach incident, impart knowledge to empower your employee pool and enforce a routine audit on your network’s security to ensure best practices. It’s true that your servers can never be fully immune from a breach attack, but with the help of well-laid security policies and practice, you can save a lot of time and money to recover from the otherwise-devastating damages.
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