Managing a Data Breach Practical Advice for Any Business

How to manage a data breach: useful tips for any business

Nowadays, data breaches have become an unfortunate reality, particularly in Australia, where five breaches impacted “over 1 million” people between July and December 2022. These security incidents can cause severe reputational and financial damage to businesses – along with undermining the safety of customers. That is why it is crucial for organisations of all sizes to know how to manage a breach. 

With the information below, you will be able to reduce any risk of harm that is born from breaches, ensuring business continuity.

Data breach: explained in simple terms

A data breach is when a malicious entity unlawfully accesses a system, allowing them to find and steal personal information. This data can include customer information, passwords, and more. A breach’s impact can be severe, and businesses need to take steps to improve their system and device security measures to protect themselves and their customers from these attacks.

What causes data breaches?

Breaches to an operating system can be caused by a variety of factors. By knowing what these causes are, you will be able to deploy the right software and device security solutions to better protect your company and its personal data. 

Some causes of breaches include:

Why do businesses need to protect themselves from data breaches?

Data breaches can result in severe damage to a business’s reputation and financial losses. There is also a risk of organisations having to face legal consequences for failing to maintain high levels of data and device security. All in all, companies that want to uphold the integrity of their data (while protecting their hardware/software from security threats) ought to deploy comprehensive security tools and practices.   

Data breach response plan (DBRP): what is it?

A DBRP specifies how an institution will respond to a security breach. Such a plan is essential to minimise the damage caused by a data breach. A DBRP typically includes procedures for efficiently containing the breach, the responsibilities and roles of employees, a clear definition of what a data breach is, and more.  

A DBRP is enabled by a response team – a group of employees that ensure your business has the means to put your DBRP into action. A response team’s members should always make sure their contact details are current and recorded within the plan. 

9 tips for successfully managing and minimising data breaches

To make mitigating and managing a data breach easier for you, you can follow the tips below:

  1. Plan ahead – develop a data breach response plan and any other device security strategies as soon as possible. Your plans should be comprehensive, based on the latest network security solutions, and updated regularly.
  2. Have employees undergo training – empower your team members by having them take security awareness training. These sessions will give your employees the knowledge they need to mitigate data breaches. 
  3. Use network and device security monitoring solutions – this is a proactive way of minimising breaches. Monitoring tools can detect suspicious activity in real time, giving you the opportunity to execute your security strategies quickly. 
  4. Use strong passwords – passwords should be complex (a mix of letters, symbols, numbers, and cases) with a minimum of 12 characters. Create policies that require them to be changed routinely. Also, never reuse passwords.
  5. Ensure all systems and devices are up to date – make sure that your organization’s IT solutions have the latest security updates installed. 
  6. Be efficient about containing breaches – the longer it takes you to respond to a breach, the more damage it will inflict. Cut off the compromised technology from your IT infrastructure as soon as you detect the anomaly.
  7. Make in-depth notes – when assessing a data breach, you should uncover as much information about the incident as possible. This would include the scale of any damage, the solutions that were impacted, and more. 
  8. Be transparent – communicate with the affected individuals and other relevant personnel. If your organisation is required to inform a governing body of a breach (such as companies that fall under the Privacy Act 1988 as spelled out in the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme), you should do so within the specified timeframe to ensure compliance.
  9. Review and improve your system and device security – after a breach has occurred, review the incident and identify areas for improvement in your data breach response plan and overall cyber security posture. As an extra tip, you should be regularly reviewing your company’s cyber security defences and upgrading them. 

Manage your data breach strategies with cyber security experts

From ransomware-as-a-service on the Dark Web to threat actors that try every trick in the cyber security book to gain unauthorised access to company networks, the cyber threat landscape will continue to grow more sophisticated as time goes by.

Protecting your organisation from data breaches has never been more critical. And to ensure that your business’s system and device security measures are optimised to respond to (and manage) breaches quickly and efficiently, you need to deploy the right tools with advanced security features. 

The cyber security professionals at Platform 24 can protect your business’s IT infrastructure with monitoring services, data breach management practices, and robust risk mitigation solutions. Contact the team at Platform 24 today to bolster the defences of your company’s technology and avoid the devastating consequences of a data breach.

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