As you approach your desk, you flip on your computer, check your calendar, and prepare to start your day. But something’s not quite right. You can’t login. You can’t pull anything up. And what’s that weird message that keeps flashing your way?
You’ve been hacked.
You’re not alone. In fact, millions of security threats reveal themselves every year. And while it’s easy to read about them and think to yourself “not me,” the truth is they all impact us in some way at some point in time.
It’s not a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of “when.”
There are many ways to ward off threats and attempt to keep your data safe and secure. We talk about many of them here.
- Are You Leaving The Backdoor Open For Cybercriminals?
- How To Maintain Security With Telemedicine Employees
- Should You Be Worried About Ransomware?
- The Biggest Security Risks A Business Faces Today
But the reality is at some point, the unthinkable will happen. And once it does, speed will be your best ally in recovering from a security breach.
1. Identify and Investigate
Discovering a data breach can be difficult. Many of us go into denial, wondering what went wrong and how it happened. Depending on the size and scope of the breach, it can sometimes be put off for short periods of time. But in all cases, the quicker you act, the easier it will be to arrive at the solution. Full panic mode is standard for any company, especially if you don’t know exactly what happened. That’s why the first step to recovery is acknowledging a breach has occurred, identifying how widespread the attack was, and investigating all areas it has touched.
Once a breach has occurred and is identified, many businesses quickly move to the “all of nothing” mode, shutting everything down all at once to contain the problem. That’s actually the wrong approach because it might hinder further investigation. Your first goal is to find out your reality. And only when you understand all of the pieces of your problem will you be able to discover the best way to repair your systems and create a new strategy for moving forward.
3. Repair and Upgrade
Once you understand where the problem lies, then comes the process of repairing everything that was damaged by the breach. This might require replacement of devices and programs. With a more severe breach, it might mean revamping your infrastructure. During the repair process, don’t underestimate the value of upgrading to the latest technology wherever possible, installing the newest features to create a resilient front against future attacks. Placing bandaids over existing equipment and programs will only leave you vulnerable once everything is returned to normal.
We’ve all seen the backlash from large companies admitting their data breaches. They make news headlines on a regular basis. And while these news stories might warn you to do the exact opposite, they are actually doing it the right way. The problem is with most data breaches, the news leaks eventually in one way or another. The more open and upfront you are about what happened, the more trust you will build with your followers, ensuring you are doing all you can to correct the problem. Your customers, your prospects, and your partners will all place higher value on your integrity if you keep them informed every step of the way.
Prevention is something to think about all throughout the process. It starts before you ever turn on the first computer in your office, and it will be a part of your strategy for as long as you’re in business. Prevention is about upgrading your equipment and systems at the appropriate time to avoid high risk situations. It’s about educating and training your employees to minimize all risk factors that can leave backdoors wide open. It’s about future thinking, anticipating future risks and needs, and putting things in place before problems arise. It’s not one person’s problem; it’s not up to a small team to contain. Instead, security is something that we all should be involved in, to ensure the safest work environment possible every day.
What’s your plan for recovering from a security breach?