by Morgan O'Mara
| Updated May 9, 2018 | Data Breach/ID Theft
| 4 min read
With the high increase of data breaches happening every year, it is very important to protect your confidential information.
Along with the security enforcement you have in place with your company, you should also have a data breach response plan. Dealing with a breach will be monumentally less challenging if you have a data breach response plan in place.
The moments after a breach are the most crucial and how it is handled can drastically affect how the company is perceived by the public. That is why having an across-the-board data breach response plan can be so beneficial for your company. Follow these 7 steps to implement a data breach response plan to your business today.
6 Steps to Creating a Data Breach Response Plan
Identify Potential Areas of Risk
Focus on the most critical areas of your company by taking a close look across the people, process and technology domains and by performing a high-level risk assessment. Talk to those within the organization who handle sensitive data and ask where they believe the vulnerabilities lie.
Additionally, consider hiring an external party to do an assessment and help you identify the highest areas of risk. Don’t take on everything at once; focus on critical risk areas first.
Establish Processes to Reduce Unintentional Errors
A majority of breaches occur because of human error. Companies can reduce the risk of unintentional breaches with well-defined and frequently measured processes. Recognizing these types of human errors can go a long way in a data breach response plan.
Empower the Response Team
Valuable response time is often wasted waiting for management approvals and authorizations. This frustration can be avoided by empowering incident management teams to make decisions on the spot without fear of retribution.
Data breach response plans should also be aligned with existing business continuity or incident handling plans. That way, the response team is able to make timely and effective critical decisions and coordinate activities across these teams. They definitely need to keep management in the loop, but it can’t be a bottleneck.
Test Your Plan
Less than 20% of companies regularly test and keep their plans current. During testing, document “action items” and “lessons learned” and assign remediation and follow-ups to ensure kinks are ironed out before an incident occurs.
Confirm that the response plan is in line with minimum requirements from a legal and regulatory perspective. Otherwise, the company will be considered negligent in its responsibilities.
Develop a Communication Plan
Have a communication plan ready to decide how you will notify internal employees, the public, and people directly affected by the data breach. It’s important to have this plan ready at a moment’s notice.
Customers and regulators are more forgiving when a breach is reported in a timely manner and relevant law enforcement agencies are informed appropriately.
Establish External Relationships
Develop relationships now with forensic companies, law enforcement agencies and legal and public relations firms to avoid wasting time by searching for contacts when a breach occurs.
Creating these partnerships in advance allows enough time to conduct a thorough evaluation and find a partner that fits the organization’s specific needs.
Implement a Plan to Backup Your Data
Backing up data, especially those vital to your core business operations, is a step that many companies overlook until it is too late.By using a backup data protocol such as those available with a secure document management solution, you can keep your business operating smoothly in case your company does face data loss in conjunction with your data breach.
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