How To Recognize a Data Breach & Address It

As technology advances, data breaches also become more prevalent. Hardly does a day pass without hearing news relating to a cyber-attack. Looking at some of the high-profile data breaches that have hit organizations in the past few years, you’ll be surprised at how long it took to detect and fix them. With literally every organization facing the risk of cyber-attacks, you need to have basic knowledge about data breach detection and mitigation. 

Recognizing Data Breaches

Worryingly, the average time it takes to detect breaches (dwell time) is still long. According to cybersecurity experts, the global average dwell time is 101 days. It’s difficult for cybersecurity teams to establish that their systems have been infiltrated with such a considerable dwell time. It’s even harder for them to organize response actions for fixing such breaches.

So, how do you detect a data breach early?

You first need to understand what a breach is and the typical cause of data breaches. Here are a few guidelines that can help you detect breaches quickly:

Stay Informed

Thanks to tech advances, the threats you face change continuously. This highlights the significance of staying apprised of the latest trends in cybercrime. Know about popular cyber-attack methods of the day and how to detect them. Involving yourself in forums and networking with fellow cybersecurity experts comes in handy.

Work With Experts

In today’s tech-savvy world, every company needs an in-house cybersecurity team. It will be easy to spot a data breach with qualified cybersecurity experts, thus improving detection and response times. If you can’t afford an in-house team, you can outsource your cybersecurity needs to third-party partners.

Train Your Employees

Most cyber-attacks result from human error. In particular, employees are the weakest link in your cybersecurity link since they are both insider and outsider threat vectors. Often, they are targeted by cybercriminals through social engineering or phishing attacks.

Regular awareness enables employees and other stakeholders to detect threats that come from malicious attachments, links, and actions. Awareness programs also help you to create a cyber-secure environment at your organization. For instance, employees will know about password security and its significance in preventing attacks.

Get a Threat Detection Solution

Due to the looming threat of cyber-attacks, organizations have been increasing their security budgets. One of the best investments you can make is acquiring a state-of-the-art breach prevention solution. With such a solution in place, you’ll be able to detect threats in real-time. It’s best to find an advanced breach detection solution that leverages AI or machine learning. This will go a long way in automating your data breach detection, response, and mitigation.

Fixing a Data Breach

The urgency with which you respond to a breach could determine whether your organization survives or succumbs to the incident. According to market analytics, 60% of small companies collapse within 6 months of a cyber-attack. Therefore, your response could have far-reaching consequences, including loss of customer trust, fines, and loss of reputation. Here are the response plans you should take to fix a data breach:

Find Out Whether Your Data Was Exposed

The first thing to do is confirm whether your data got exposed. For instance, you can establish a call center or website to help your customers determine whether their personal data got compromised during the incident. Also, establish what type of data got compromised.

While it’s easy to replace or cancel stolen credit cards, the same cannot be said about obtaining a new Social Security number. Similarly, hackers can do more with SSNs than with personal emails. Determining the sensitivity of the breached data helps you establish an appropriate response plan.

How To Recognize a Data Breach in company

Contact the Relevant Authorities

Numerous data compliance regulations have been enacted in recent years. These standards are overseen by relevant regulatory agencies. One of the first steps to do following a breach is to report the incident to the relevant agency and your legal advisors. If you’re a healthcare organization, for instance, you should report the incident to the OCR. Failure to do so puts you at the risk of getting penalized.

Strengthen Your Logins and Passwords

After detecting a breach, it’s best to immediately change login credentials, including passwords and security questions for the breached accounts. In case the initial attack was being used as a launching pad for a more powerful attack, you’ll be able to stop the hackers. Likewise, you should stay alert and watch out for any hacking activity signs by monitoring the affected accounts.

Bottom Line

Data breaches can occur at any time. Therefore, you should be alert and prepared for an attack at all times. Hackers target both large and small organizations, but a breach doesn’t automatically mean that you’re a victim of a cyber-attack. Securing personal information and implementing cybersecurity best practices will go a long way in helping you to detect, prevent, and fix data breaches.

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