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Tip of the Week: Properly Preparing to Respond to a Data Breach

Computer with a data breach on it

While nobody wants their company to suffer a data breach, the nature of today’s workplace makes these occurrences harder and harder to avoid. In fact, chances are that you’ll eventually encounter one, which makes it important to prepare to deal with it when it comes about.

Here, we’ve outlined a few steps to help your business weather the storm:

Essential Basic Practices

First thing’s first: if you aren’t seeing to your essential cybersecurity practices, you’re going to experience more successful attacks as compared to what you would see with these practices in place.

These practices can be summed up as such:

  • Keeping data (particularly sensitive data) organized in secure solutions
  • Keeping data on a need-to-know basis via access controls

These two essential practices make it FAR easier for an IT team to properly respond to a breach, simply because these practices help to isolate the problem, making it simpler to identify… and ultimately, to mitigate.

Ensure You Can Detect Breaches

Of course, you also need the capability to catch breaches once they’ve made it onto your infrastructure. Unfortunately, these attacks are becoming much more wily, capable of evading detection by your IT professionals for longer amounts of time. This is not good. The longer a threat is present on your network, the worse the outcome will typically be.

Therefore, speed is of the essence in terms of your ability to catch these anomalies. The automated tools that many businesses now use have greatly improved the speed at which such issues can be caught and resolved. These tools have proven quite effective, as recent reports have shown: the Netwrix 2020 Data Breach and Security Report cites that organizations using automation were largely (as in 48 percent of them) able to detect them in minutes, while most of those without (56 percent) measured their detection time in days.

Respond Appropriately

While many businesses have defined plans and processes in place to respond to breach events, these plans need to be standardized and shared with your entire team. That way, any team member could potentially catch an issue and sound the alarm before too much damage is done.

These strategies should be reinforced through repeated evaluations and training simulations so that the process is familiar to all. Not only will this help the process be carried out more effectively if it ever needs to be implemented, but it will also encourage your team members to be more on their guard for such events.

Recover, Rinse, and Repeat

Finally, should a breach occur and result in data loss of some form, you need to ensure that your business can bounce back. This involves recovering any data that was lost with the help of a backup solution and resolving the weaknesses that allowed the data to be lost in the first place.

To do so, you will need to identify the vulnerability that the attacker exploited and fix it with a software patch so that it is no longer so much of a concern. Once that is seen to, all there is to do is continue improving your protections with updates and education as you wait for the next attack to come.

Of course, you don’t have to go it alone. Here at Macatawa Technologies, we can help you prepare for such security instances and help you avoid having your data breached in the first place. This allows you to devote more time to using it. Reach out to us at (616) 394-4940 with any questions and to learn how you can get started with us today!


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