Experienced a Data Breach? Immediately Follow These Four Steps

The cost of global cybercrime reached an estimated $8.44 trillion in 2022. Behind this statistic are thousands of companies that experienced costly and disruptive data breaches. As data breaches continue to increase in number and severity, it is important for enterprises to take the following four steps to mitigate the fallout from these breaches.

  1. Investigate, contain and assess
  2. The first step is to quickly investigate how and where hackers infiltrated a system or systems. After the source of the breach is identified, shut down compromised servers, computers, and devices and disable any remote access. Next, assess the damage of the breach by determining the type of data that was exposed, stolen or deleted.

  3. Fix vulnerabilities
  4. Deploy security measures to fix any vulnerabilities identified as the cause of the data breach to prevent similar cyberattacks in the future. For example, a potential enterprise vulnerability that opens the door to hackers is the use of consumer-grade messaging apps. The data breach danger and unsecure nature of these apps was chronicled in yet another news story which recently reported the leak of WhatsApp data resulting in 500 million user records for sale online.

    Fixing this type of vulnerability is easy with a secure, enterprise-grade mobile messaging and collaboration platform like NetSfere. Built from the ground up with industry-leading security and compliance features, NetSfere’s end-to-end encryption locks down business communication, eliminating vulnerabilities by converting data to an unbreakable code that can only be deciphered with a unique key.

  5. Inform all stakeholders
  6. It is important to notify all stakeholders, including customers, clients and employees impacted by the data breach. Maintaining transparent communication is essential to mitigating the reputational damage of a data breach. This communication should address what type of breach occurred, what types of data was exposed or stolen, what the company is doing to reduce the impact of the breach and what actions the company is taking to prevent a similar breach from occurring again

    Enterprises should also be aware of and prepared to follow data breach notification laws which require notification of impacted parties without “reasonable delay.” For example, the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022 (CIRCIA) requires covered entities to report to Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) any covered cyber incidents within 72 hours from the time the entity reasonably believes the incident occurred.

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) noted that “when security breaches do occur, timely, accurate, and actionable security disclosures can, when done well, fulfill legal obligations and be essential to enabling consumers and other affected parties to take actions to mitigate harm resulting from the breach.”

  7. Prevent future breaches
  8. To prevent future data breaches organizations should take a proactive approach to cybersecurity that includes strengthening the security of their tech stacks. That starts with ensuring business-critical applications such as mobile messaging and collaboration platforms are architected with robust end-to-end encryption. This type of data encryption keeps data safe, making it unreadable and useless to cybercriminals who have no way to decrypt the code.

    With the highest level of built-in encryption, NetSfere protects data at rest and in transit. NetSfere ensures that enterprises never have to worry about exposure of business communication and collaboration in the event of a data breach or a lost or stolen device.

    Educating employees is another first line of defense against data breaches. Regular security training should teach employees to follow best practices including using strong passwords and never sharing them with anyone. Employees should also be made aware of common types of cyberthreats and how to spot them.

    To prevent data breaches, organizations also need to provide employees with the most cyber secure tools and technology. That means NetSfere’s secure mobile messaging technology should be an essential part of the enterprise tool kit.