Since data breaches are becoming more common, how you respond to one can go a long way in maintaining your business reputation and keeping you from losing the trust of your customers.
As with any crisis, a quick and decisive response is critical. But here’s the problem: most breaches go undetected for a long time. A 2016 report by FireEye found it took companies in the world an average of 146 days to detect a data breach. A separate report found 81 percent of data breaches aren’t detected until news reports, law enforcement notifications, or external fraud monitoring. The longer a breach goes undetected, the more harm it can do to your business.
If you are unfortunate enough to experience a data breach, here are some suggestions on how to respond:
- Stay calm and take the time to investigate thoroughly. You might be tempted to quickly patch a hole so you can get your business back up and running, but this could leave you vulnerable to another breach.
- Get a response plan in place before you turn the business switch back on.
- Notify your customers and follow your state’s reporting laws. Not following through on this could subject you to penalties and further legal troubles.
- Call in your security and forensic experts to identify and fix the problem.