What to Do If a Data Breach Occurs

As digitalization continues to progress in the world, cases of data breach and other cyber security issues increase as well. What actions would you take today if your company experienced a data security breach?

A research by Juniper, predicted that data breaches would cost organizations and individuals more than 2 trillion globally by the year 2019. The breaches that affected major tech savvy organizations such as Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail are proof that no amount of precautions are infallible to a data breach.

Read on to find out the best thing to do if a data breach occurs in your organization and how cyber liability insurance can save your business.

Steps to take after a security breach of data in your company

Get confirmation and find out the degree of exposure

The surest way to find out if a data breach really occurred in your organization is to get confirmation from the company website or have IT experts check out the data.

Confirmation is really important because there have been cases where hackers and scammers have sent false emails to organizations claiming that their data has been breached, thereby requiring the members of the company to provide the hackers with their personal information.

Trace the root of the issue

Once you have confirmed that there has indeed been a security breach, we highly recommend that you secure the systems of the organizations as fast as you can. Can you identify which vulnerabilities in the system caused the breach? Have them fixed immediately, otherwise the company may end up facing multiple breaches of data.

We suggest that you bring in technology engineers to investigate the source of the breach. The engineers can analyze the data traffic of the system using forensics to pin point the cause of the breach. Some of the forensic strategies that always prove effective in tracing a breach include:

Capturing of data

Data capturing forensics allows the IT experts to capture all the data traffic to the company website including data from fast links.

Network recording

This records and stores all the incidents that take place on the company’s network after a breach

Search and inspection

The administrators carefully go through the archived traffic of the network to check for any problems or anomalies that may have been missed initially.

Reporting

After analyzing all the captured data, the investigation results are logged, and all the vulnerabilities of the network are analyzed and reviewed.

Find out the type of data that was breached

We have compiled three examples of the types of data that are vulnerable during a breach.

  1. The breach about the big box retailer that occurred in 2013, which affected more than 70 million consumers. The breach was uncovered as part of an ongoing investigation about the following stolen data:
    • Debit and credit card information
    • Email addresses
    • Phone numbers
    • Mailing addresses
  1. The largest data breach in the United States, which occurred in 2014. During the breach, a web services provider was hacked and the compromised user accounts were more than 3 billion in total. The breached data included the following:
    • Telephone numbers
    • Names
    • Passwords
    • Email addresses
    • Security questions
    • Dates of birth
  1. In 2017, a data breach was reported to a credit agency, where the hackers got hold of 145 million SSN (social security numbers), addresses, driver’s license numbers, birth dates, and other sensitive PII. The stolen information was so sensitive and could give the hackers so much power than just committing credit card fraud.

We highly recommend that you take quick action after discovering which type of data was breached in your organization.

If the hackers gained access to the social security numbers of your clients, the hackers may assume the identities of your clients and commit the following criminal acts in the name of your organization:

  • Filing fake tax returns
  • Buying or renting properties
  • Applying for employment benefits

Seek legal counsel

The stolen data from your organization may be very costly to restore. If the data that was breached contained details about your clients such as their Social Security Numbers, passwords, credit card information, and other sensitive data, the company may face third party lawsuits.

Does your organization have cyber liability insurance? Without cyber liability insurance, your organization may be left defenseless after a breach of data. This is because the costs of restoring the stolen data, upgrading the data systems, and dealing with third party lawsuits may cripple your organization financially, leaving it bankrupt.

The cyber liability insurance provides coverage for financial costs and losses caused by breaches of data any other cyber events that may occur in your organization. Some of the coverages that a cyber liability insurance offers include:

Restoration of data

The costs that the organization incurs to restore or replace electronic data, software, or programs destroyed or stolen by the breach is covered by the policy.

Cyber extortion

Sometimes malicious hackers may hack into the data system of an organization and steal important data from the company, then demand to be paid a ransom or else they will commit the following nefarious acts with the data:

  • Damage the data
  • Introduce a virus into the system
  • Release confidential data to the public
  • Initiate a DoS attack

If the company decides to pay the ransom, the cyber liability insurance will over the extortion payment.

Crisis management

The aftermath of a breach can be hectic for an organization. The insurance policy steps in to assist the organization by covering the costs of hiring an attorney, public relations expert, computer expert, or forensic accountant to analyze the scope of damage and assist the company to mitigate the loss.

Have you bought cyber liability insurance for your organization? If not, we recommend that you purchase the insurance immediately and protect your business and your clients from data breach by hackers.

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