Suspect a Data Breach? Read This

Data breaches and threats to cyber security have become relatively commonplace in global industry. Over the past several years, large corporations in a variety of sectors have taken huge hits from cyber criminals. The theft of confidential, protected, or sensitive information can devastate the reputation of even the largest and most respected companies. Because of the frequency of attacks and amount of potential loss involved, it’s crucial for businesses to obtain cyber liability insurance and implement the proper level of precaution. If a data breach is suspected, the following steps should be taken immediately.

Secure Operations

Your company should have specific plans for what to do if you suspect a data breach. The primary responsibility is to ensure the security of your operations with the following steps:

  • Secure the physical area by changing locks and access codes.
  • Deploy the response team immediately.
  • Take all computers and affected machinery offline to avoid additional data loss.
  • Utilize a team of experts, including management, legal counsel, information security and technology, forensics, operations, communications, human resources, and investor relations.
  • Ensure you don’t destroy any evidence during the process of investigating and remediating the breach.

Identify and Fix Vulnerabilities

Following any type of cybercrime, it’s important to identify the vulnerable areas that led to the problem.

  • Review network segmentation to ensure that a data breach in one area is isolated and will not create a chain of problems.
  • Coordinate with forensics experts to identify if security measures were bypassed in the course of the breach. Review backup data, logs, and access records. Determine the magnitude of the affected data and remedial measures.
  • Consider your service providers and determine if they were involved in the data loss. Changing their access privileges may be required. Ensure service providers take proper precautions to prevent an additional breach.
  • Create a communications plan to reach every individual affected, including business partners, customers, employees, investors, and additional stakeholders.
  • Many people involved with your organization will have questions, including what is a suspected cyber breach. Post a Q&A on your website to provide clear information about the breach in a public location.

Provide Appropriate Notification

Following any type of cyber crime or data loss, there are parties that must be notified. You should immediately call the police to report the situation, including any risk of identity theft. Follow up with your cyber liability insurance provider, as they can usually help you with next steps. The FBI or Secret Service may also need to be involved. If mail theft was included in your breach, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service should be contacted. If personal electronic health records were lost, HIPAA and FTC regulations must be observed.

Cyber security is critical in today’s age of increased computer crime. Ensure your company is protected with cyber security insurance and a solid plan for responding to incidents of data loss.

About Haughn & Associates

Founded by Michael Haughn in 1986, Haughn & Associates is a full-service, family-owned, independent insurance agency based out of Dublin, Ohio. H&A strives to provide the best possible price and unique insurance solutions across a myriad of industries, including construction, IT, Habitation & Commercial Property, Agriculture, and Engineering. Devoted to providing the best of business insurance, life and disability insurance, personal insurance, employee benefits, and bonds, H&A is proof that success lies in long-standing client relations and satisfaction. To learn more about how H&A can be of service to you, contact us at (877) 802-2278.