There are many technological and policy-related ways to prepare for and respond to a data breach. But there are also less tangible ways your company can stay alert. Education, building the right culture and keeping employees involved can all help, and at the root of it all is the desire to stay calm while still taking the situation seriously.
Since there's a lot on the line, it's easy to be too overzealous when a breach occurs. You can try too hard to overcompensate, investing in just one type of recovery measure while ignoring others. For example, a breach that involves a lost or unsecured thumb drive might cause your company to invest in more device security, but what happens if a phishing email arrives after that?
On the other hand, being too lax about security is arguably even more dangerous. This seems to be the more common problem, as companies can easily ignore major security hazards or simply not even know that they exist.
The Identity Theft Resource Center recently reported that the number of data breaches in 2016 was 40 percent higher than in the previous year, and that more than half of the breach notifications didn't include the basic estimate of compromised records in those respective events. Clearly, your company needs to get specific for the best results.
Faced with all of that, the challenge is to walk that careful middle line, without acting too quickly or slowly. To make this work, try the following tips:
- Avoid complacency: No matter what level of security you're at, there's almost certainly room to improve. This can apply even if you've just undergone a major overhaul, so always focus on ways that you can protect your data, without worrying so much if you don't make a huge dent at first.
- Go "big picture": Don't just try to solve the most obvious breach. Set the groundwork for real change to come in the future by doing internal research, talking to professionals and setting some strong long-term goals. Whether this happens with third-party help or in-house, you can accomplish more if you try to imagine what the ultimate result of your security efforts might be.
- Involve the entire company: Everyone who works for you can probably play a role in data security, even if it's just knowing good email tips. Extend education to all employees and try to consult representatives from different departments if you can. There might be some opportunities to improve that you'll miss if you don't broaden the conversation.
- Keep the victim in the loop: While the effect on the company is important, the personal factor matters as well. Communicating after a breach means knowing what questions that person may have and directing them to the right resources. With identity monitoring or other similar measures already in place, there's something you can point to as evidence that you're doing the right thing from the very beginning. It might take some time to contact them initially but communication is key, and too much of a delay may be an issue.
- Stay persistent: Whatever measures your company decides on should set up a plan for consistent care. From software updates to employee education, re-enforcement is necessary, as is the chance to tinker and change these policies to make them more relevant.
For more success following a data breach, look to Identity Guard Business Solutions. We can present options for your organization to help customers and employees monitor thier information after a data breach event through identity theft protection.