No one wants to have their business be the target of a successful security breach. The problem is, the potential for a breach is bigger than most businesses want to acknowledge. And when the breach happens, unhappy customers go to social media, the traditional media, and any other form of communication they have at their disposal to express their displeasure. Following are tips to help you avoid the media firestorm, maintain calm, and keep your customer’s data from further exposure.
Communication is Key
Making a concerted effort to reach customers and let them know they might be affected by a data breach is important. Time is of the essence, and you can’t wait a week to send out the notice. Customers need to react quickly if they are to protect their personal information from further damage. You also need to inform the customers about what was affected, how you are going to handle the situation, and what your plans are for helping them get past the damage caused by the breach.
Stop the Breach in Its Tracks
Hackers keep coming back to the well when they learn that the database has poor security and valuable information. They’re after a quick and dirty payday, taking advantage of your lack of security. But you can stop them from getting in by locking down the database with stronger security measures. Using a cloud access security broker, multi-layer authentication, and strong encryption for data transmission are some of the ways to prevent the hacker from returning.
A cloud access security broker helps you see who has access to the database and where they’re accessing it from. Using multiple layers of authentication makes it difficult for a hacker to use a script to get into the database. And, strong encryption makes it impossible for the hacker to trap data and pick out passwords.
Bring in Outside Help
There’s no shame in admitting the mistake happened. There may be criticism along the way, but people prefer honesty over cover-ups, especially when it involves their personal information. Honesty demonstrates that the company feels that it’s more important to handle customer information properly than try to save face. Bringing in outside help shows that you’re not afraid to go to an expert for help in fixing the issue the right way and not drag out the issue.
An expert in personal security breaches helps you with all aspects of the problem at hand. They work with you on what law enforcement agencies to inform, how to stop the bleeding from the breach, and how to help your customers protect their information from exploitation by the hacker.
It’s best to have a plan in place to deal with a data breach. Talk to the internal IT staff, contact outside experts for their insight, and make a list of actions that are taken if and when a breach happens. Quick action after the breach is discovered goes a long way toward stopping a media firestorm before it starts.