Since we are living in a digital age, a majority of our daily obligations are done online. That doesn’t only mean that only regular people use this approach. We can see that an even higher percentage of business is done online. There are numerous reasons for this. The first and most important one is effectiveness. After that, there is the question of preventing time-wasting.
Since pretty much all the companies in the world do their business online, it is not uncommon to witness data breaches from time to time. There are countless stories about this. Naturally, hackers will target only big companies who have some lucrative business documents. But that doesn’t mean that you should be less careful if you are a small business owner.
There is always something valuable in your hands and you need to protect it by any means. If you are looking for some measures of precautions, in form of software, you can find it on DigitalFire. But when a data breach happens, you don’t have a lot of options in front of you. Now, let’s take a look at what you should do immediately after it happens. Without further ado, let’s take a look at these things
1. See What Was Stolen
After you have notified your clients, you should conduct an inspection and see what kind of information was stolen by hackers. If the information that was stolen was mainly credit cards, they can be easily canceled. But if the information missing is SSN or social security number, the process of obtaining a new one will be much harder. Plus, hackers can use it to make more severe damage than credit cards.
As you can see, different data have widely different degrees of sensitivity. There are a lot of different categories of information and how it should be handled when handled. Here, we’ve mentioned only two of the commonest ones. After you have conducted a careful investigation into the breach, you are ready to take further action. The next one is letting your customers know what happened.
2. Let Your Customers Know
Before you do anything, the first order of business after your company suffers a data breach is to notify your customers about what has happened. In some situations, the customers will know what they need to do to prevent any further damage, but that cannot happen if you don’t let them know what has happened, right? Minimizing your client’s damage is the first thing you should do to remain credible.
The reason why you should do this immediately is that chances are that the information obtained by hackers is still not used to your client’s damage. If you fail to do that, chances are that the damage will become much more severe, which nobody really wants. Naturally, your company will be held accountable for the damage caused and you will need to compensate for the damage to your clients.
3. Alter all the Passwords
After you sent a message to your clients, you will need to see to it that all the passwords on your accounts are immediately changed. The reason is that hackers have found about them and they can use them again to use some other data they’ve missed the first time. To prevent this from happening, be sure to alter all the passwords. Plus, make sure that you’ve used some more complex ones.
The situation can become especially more dangerous if you have used the same passwords for a wide array of different accounts. After you change it, using the previous password should be avoided completely. Surely, you will not want to experience something like this again, right? If you are not certain you can do it properly, be sure to use a password manager to have a much easier time.
4. Contact Financial Institutions
In case credit cards were stolen, you need to establish a communication with an institution that has issued these. That way, you will prevent any further damage. The institution will cancel the cards and they will not be of much use to those who have stolen the data. But you should explain the complete situation before you ask them to do it. Otherwise, they might be reluctant to do it.
We cannot stress how important it is for you do to this immediately. Otherwise, you and your clients could lose substantial amounts of money. Naturally, you will be held accountable because you failed to provide a proper level of security. So, you will need to compensate them out of your pocket. Therefore, act as soon as you see there is something wrong with credit cards and you will prevent further damage.
5. Address the Problem
After you have taken all the measures of preauction, you should address the problem itself. See if there is any way you can fix the current situation. If this is not possible, the best you can hope for is to prevent this from happening in the future. You can do that by implementing some security software that will be much more efficient than those you have used before the breach happened.
Even better, you should hire some professionals to inspect your system and point out all the weaknesses of your system. Sure, this would mean that you will need to invest some money into this process. But we assure you that this is a necessary thing to do. Sure, you wouldn’t like to experience a data breach once again. In some cases, these breaches can be so severe that the company that suffered it could close completely.
The Bottom Line
If you take a look at some official surveys on this topic, you can see that roughly 65% of US citizens don’t know what to do when a data breach happens. Here, you can take a look at some of the most important steps of precautions you need to conduct after it happens. We have no doubt you will find all of these to be both interesting and educational at the same time.