How to Handle a Data Breach: Recovery and Raising Your Defenses

While you might not normally think of it as such, your company’s data is one of your biggest assets. Falling victim to a data breach can not only bring things to a screeching halt, but without a proper response, your business can also be broken beyond repair. The Dtech Web Blog offers the following tips on what to do to protect your company from hackers and how to recover if something slips through a crack.

Know Your Enemy

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Sun Tzu’s ancient saying from The Art of War, “Know your enemies and know yourself,” is apt when it comes to social engineering attacks. Becoming educated on the various traps used by hackers is the key to avoid becoming their next victim. You can start by training your employees on common methods used by hackers to steal personal information, such as posting ads that lead to malware, obtaining cookies (information about passwords and other personal data) from websites you visit, or sending out professionally appealing emails that try to convince you to give out personal information.

StayAlert

It’s important to understand that attacks can come veiled like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, appearing to be from a trustworthy source. For example, as the University of Pittsburgh explains, phishing emails often have a sense of unwarranted urgency, attempting to provoke your staff members into a quick, emotional response. Teach your employees the importance of never clicking shortened links in emails, to avoid responding to unsolicited emails altogether, and not to give out information such as passwords, customer data, or other sensitive details via the internet. Also, recognize that accidents will happen. Should an employee click something questionable, make sure they know to come to you immediately so you can jump on damage control. The repercussions become more far-reaching the longer you wait.

Keep Your Guard

Even with training, your business could still have vulnerabilities to data breaches and fraud. Thankfully, there are some options for guarding your other soft spots. First, it’s important for your staff to use strong passwords — and change them routinely. It’s also important for businesses to use a firewall, which will essentially examine the data exchange between your company and the internet. Weigh certain aspects of your situation, such as bandwidth use and whether you prefer a network- or host-based firewall. Firewalls are essential to help protect your data, and you can read reviews of firewall vendors for your circumstances.

Reach for the Skies

Many small business owners like the idea of having data on site. However, as Forbes points out, using the cloud is actually more secure, and it cuts down on your time, money, and effort put into upgrades. What’s more, it makes your work more mobile. Being able to access calendars, contact information, and bookkeeping means streamlining work and raising productivity. If you haven’t already done so, explore some of the cloud services available, and contemplate how you can use them to not only improve security but raise your bottom line.

Contain Trouble

If your business falls victim to a data breach, it’s important to respond immediately. Completely power down the computers and wait until the source of trouble is identified. Calling in computer forensic and recovery professionals through IT staffing agencies can be your fastest avenue toward a full recovery of your data. Getting a professional to analyze and resolve the issue as quickly as possible means you can stop the spread of damage and keep your business’s productivity levels high.

Stay Ready with Data Intelligence

The last thing you want to encounter is another breach. One of the best ways to stay ready and protected is to invest in technology that regularly monitors and safely stores your data through backups and analytics. The ideal platform will include monitoring as well as an immediate response mechanism that handles threats and initiates recovery. For example, should your business fall victim to attack, an intelligent data management system can instantly shield you from further damage while also going into recovery mode.

Data is a crucial aspect of your company’s foundation. Without it, your business can quickly be crippled, so keeping your data safe is paramount to your success. Train your employees and enact some basic protections, and if a breach occurs, act quickly to prevent further damage. With a good plan in place, you can be back in business in no time.

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