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Lindsey Patterson

Guidelines to Help Businesses Deal with Security Breaches

4 min read

Most businesses have experienced a security breach at some point in time, regardless of the sector they operate in and size. Security breaches have a negative impact, not only to the reputation of the business but also to end users or customers. Therefore, businesses should handle security breaches with utmost seriousness because they have a long-term impact on their reputation, and customers trust business with an excellent reputation and those that assure them of data security. However, how a company responds to security breaches will defer based on the situation. Businesses can use these general guidelines to help them deal with security breaches appropriately and protect their reputation.




The first thing you needed to do is to form a breach management team with an array of duties. The establishment of protocols, encryption for written and oral communication, and communication standards is vital at this stage. The team has responsibilities such as managing risk, internal security, regulatory and privacy compliance. The team is also responsible for legal counsel, corporate communications, and human resources responsible for interviewing employees about the breach. Employees should not be made aware of the breach at this time because sometimes an employee could be at fault, and you don't want them to know. Let the team inform employees later.


Behavioral and web analytics


The other important step when dealing with security breaches is to analyze IP addresses in the departments and classify them. The three most appropriate categories to use when doing web and behavioral analytics include: authorized but toxic, unauthorized and benign, and authorized and toxic. The team needs to find out the source of the breach, whether it was from the business or outside, malware programs, and the method used to breach the systems.


Forensic evidence capture


Your business might realize that a security breach happened several years later. It is imperative first to confirm that the security breach occurred while at the same time determining the information, such as employee family information, proprietary information, trade security, and intellectual property that was affected by the breach. The next thing you need to find out is if the violation is still happening or it was terminated. If the information is still being compromised, you need to prevent further breach by changing passwords in all departments. Besides, you need to be aware of the kind of encryption being used in the system and image and isolate hard drives to enable examination by MDR Service. You can research for similar security breaches online or check on the history of breaches if it has ever happened before in the organization.


Risk impact analysis


Risk impact analysis is an integral part of handling security breaches because it determines the kind of data that was compromised while paying attention to paper and electronic formats of a system. You need to act immediately by reporting the breach to law enforcement authorities if personal health information, intellectual property, defense information, and trade secrets were compromised. The business' legal counsel will advise on the requirements of internal reporting because some parties, such as board members and partners need to be made aware of the breach. The legal counsel will also help the business' team to come up with notification strategies and protocols before they notify the relevant parties about the security breach.


Notify necessary parties immediately


Every state has laws that guide businesses on how they should handle security breaches, so you need to familiarize with these regulations to get guidelines on the timetable for informing affected parties of the security breach. While notifying the concerned parties, businesses should ensure that they are honest and concise while at the same time keeping their message simple. You should ensure that you acknowledge the mistake and take ownership of the security breach. Also, you need to let the affected parties know that you are willing to correct the breach and prevent future trouble by giving them the solutions or recommendations based on your study.