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How Businesses Should Prepare For a Data Breach

July 16, 2021

You might not want to think about it, but there is always a potential your business could be hit by a data breach. The info you keep on your customers, your finances, and other sensitive factors could be at risk of being lost. You can prepare for a data breach if you look at how you’re managing your business and how you recognize whatever may work at any moment.

Establish a Relationship With Your IT Department 

The first way to prepare for a data breach is to look at how your IT department operates. Most businesses assume their IT departments are all about keeping their websites online. But IT is also about reviewing data connections and preventing hostile parties from getting online.

You can produce a better relationship with your IT department to help establish more control over possible threats. You can request many points out of your IT department to ensure everyone’s safety and protection while online:

  • Establish parameters for how you’ll use security setups and features for your workplace. These include hardware and software-based firewalls and antivirus programs.
  • Communicate with your IT department on how you’re handling your customers’ data. You can share how your business is complying with CCPA standards.
  • Have a fractional privacy officer on hand to help you review your IT efforts. A privacy officer can identify possible flaws and issues with your security and IT functions and provide guidance on how you can fix any problems you notice.
  • Produce a data mapping platform where you’ll illustrate how the data you collect will travel and where people can find and use it as necessary. The data map should include enough locations surrounding how you’re managing data and making it accessible for multiple situations.

Every system in your workplace needs proper controls to ensure you’re keeping your data secure and protected. Be certain when running your business that you have a plan for how you’re managing your data as necessary and that there’s a plan for where everything goes.

Plan a Response Team

A data breach response team can review whatever threats come with a breach and identify how to resolve the issue sooner. You can establish a response team with multiple positions:

  • Every response team needs a leader that will run the reaction effort.
  • A customer care representative will contact the public and provide info on the breach. The worker should ensure all customers are confident the situation works well.
  • A few members of the IT team should review the compromised data and identify any hacking issues or other threats.
  • The C-Suite team will also plan a response to the breach surrounding how data moves and how it will be preserved and saved. Any backups for whatever is working here will be necessary for everyone’s safety and protection.

All members of your response team should be easily accessible when the time for work comes. Everyone should have a plan for how they’ll manage the data in hand and keep it under control.

Plan a Least Privilege Model

A least privilege model is a platform where your employees will only have access to the smallest amount of data necessary to manage your work. You can incorporate this point into your data protection plan to reduce the risk of employees spreading excess data amounts.

You can also use a tokenization system that disguises identifiable data and keeps the content in a secure space where it cannot be decoded. This point works with a least privilege model to reduce the identifiable data that appears when handling a transaction.

RBAC Also Helps

Another point to plan entails the roles people have when accessing data. An RBAC or role-based access control system will assign permissions to each employee based on their roles. While they can still interact with the least amount of necessary data, you can restrict your employees surrounding who will review the specific data you’re managing in your work. People who have more experience with certain systems may be allowed access to those setups, while those with less experience or work will not handle as many items here.

Review Your Current System

Check your current data storage system to reduce your risk of possible damage if your data ever becomes lost. Your current review can include a check on a few points to ensure everything you manage stays functional:

  • Look at your current encryption system. The encryption you utilize should be secure and should target payment info and identifiable data on customers.
  • Keep all software current by using the proper installations, patches, and other updates. Proper updates ensure all possible security risks are closed off, reducing the risk or severity of potential hacks or disruptions.
  • Monitor whatever software programs or other solutions you use when controlling data. Any security programs you use should be easy to control and configure.
  • Review the passwords people are using when handling data. All passwords should be kept private and complex to where they are hard for people to predict. You could establish a system where each password must have a specific number of characters or certain types of items.

Be Prepared For Possible Failures

While you should plan to succeed in everything you do, you should never assume you’re going to be successful every time you manage your business’ data. Having a response plan can make a difference, as it helps you contain possible damage and reduce the risk of the harm becoming worse than necessary. Proper control over your situation and how you’re managing your business is ideal to your success.

A data breach can be a scary concern for you to consider when running your business. But it doesn’t have to be a dramatic risk if you look at how you respond to the threat. Be sure you look at how you’re managing your data breaches and that you have a plan for what to do if one occurs. The work should be about ensuring everything stays safe in your business.

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