8 Key Points to Include in a Data Breach Protocol

The threat of unauthorized access to sensitive materials by a cyber criminal looms over giant conglomerates and small businesses alike. Even the American government recently experienced a data breach. A business may recover from the theft of confidential information and redeem the trust of customers and stockholders. Be prepared with a data breach response plan. A data breach protocol with these eight key points will assist in the recovery process.

  1. Security Risk Assessment:  security risk assessment may lower the chances of an actual data breach. The first step of a security risk assessment is to identify what confidential data the company must protect. The next step is to analyze the types of IT security that are in place and the system’s security weaknesses. Legal and regulatory requirements for a particular type of business should be considered.
  2. Assemble an Incident Response Team:  An incident response team should be assembled in advance of an incident. A senior executive should be placed in charge of the team. The team should be granted adequate funds to take action as deemed necessary.
  3. List Priorities:  Protecting customers from harm is a top priority. Guarding the company’s reputation and preventing revenue loss is also important. Eluding regulatory fines and customer notification are imperative. Establishing trust with customers and stockholders should be included.
  4. Evaluation of the Data Breach Incident:  Appraise the nature of the circumstance leading to the breach. Determine the access point of the unauthorized disclosure. Calculate which individuals were affected and the type of data hacked. Contemplate applicable regulations for an online security breach for the location and type of business.
  5. Localize and Contain:  Localize and contain the breach as soon as possible to stop the hackers from reentering the network. Preserve digital evidence while containing the breach. After isolating the problem, the affected servers must be restored.
  6. Establish a Communication Protocol:  Information of the breach should not be leaked prematurely. Establishing a communication protocol should decrease the risk of news leaks. Decide appropriate executives, IT personnel, regulators, such as Federal Trade Commission, outsiders and other personnel to notify as soon as a breach is identified. Appoint a communication spokesperson to advise the public and other sectors. Customer notification guidelines should be established. Set up phone lines to handle incoming calls from customers.
  7. Documentation of Breach:  Documentation of the breach is important at each level of the process. Interior and exterior communications, incident logs and reports should be included with the documentation. Good documentation efforts are crucial.
  8. Regaining Customer Trust:  The organization should purchase an identity theft protection policy for customers affected by the data breach. The price of the policy should be considered an investment for the company’s future. The policy is an essential step to reestablish trust.

*Photo courtesy of Security Key Cyber Security by Perspecsys at Flickr’s Creative Commons.


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