A data breach can be one of the most costly and damaging events occurring in business today. A study done by the Ponemon Institute in 2018 revealed that the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. is $3.86 million. While businesses take every measure to prevent these intrusions, they can happen even under the most controlled cybersecurity policies. Damage control is of the highest priority, and companies must immediately activate a response plan.
Once a breach has occurred, the FTC recommends taking the following actions.
After the above immediate actions are taken, a thorough investigation into the data compromise’s scope and impact should follow. System logs and audits can help pinpoint how the breach occurred and the extent of the damages.
Investigating how the intrusion happened is a crucial step to controlling damage and avoiding future occurrences. There are many possible causes that may involve staff. These range from someone disclosing their sign-in credentials to unauthorized parties to a malware-infected device logged into the network. However, the failure to adequately patch or update security software can be a probable cause as well.
Depending on the causes of the breach, several actions can be immediately taken to prevent further damage.
Data breaches do not just damage businesses, they adversely affect customers if their data is stolen and subsequently exploited. Many underground avenues exist online in what is known as the dark web, where unscrupulous parties exchange credit card numbers and other stolen data. The affected business has a legal and moral responsibility to its customers to protect them from financial damage resulting from the data breach.
There are measures a business can take to help protect their reputation while assisting their clients.
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