Data Breach Remediation and Prevention for Small Business Owners
Written by Gloria Martinez
On average, recovering from a data breach costs a small business between $36,000 and $50,000. This isn't feasible for some companies. Fortunately, you can take steps to recuperate from the damage, no matter the extent, and even prevent a breach from occurring again.
Isolate Affected Systems
Your first step after a data breach should be figuring out which systems were impacted. Once you do that, disconnect the systems from your network. For example, the breach may affect specific computers or accounts. The impacted systems have the potential to spread any malware or viruses, which increases the extent of the data breach. Keep the affected systems off the network until you initiate the recovery process yourself or hire a professional to handle things.
File an Insurance Claim Shortly After
Although you may feel frustrated and overwhelmed, act quickly after a data breach. You need to protect your client's or customer's information to the best of your ability and limit the damage to your business as much as possible. Part of this means getting the ball rolling in terms of your insurance. Not all policies cover cybersecurity breaches. This type of insurance is an add-on to your policy. It's referred to as cyber liability insurance. If you have this kind of coverage, file a claim as soon as possible to recover everything you can financially from this event.
Consider Hiring a Professional
If web and cybersecurity aren't your fields of expertise, think about hiring an expert. If you don't address every aspect of the problem properly, your business could suffer, and you already risk this affecting your reputation and credibility as a small business owner. You don't need to add to the problem by only addressing part of the problem.
When you hire a professional, they help you fix the damage done and target the root of the problem as well. Keep in mind that without getting to the source of the issue and taking corrective action, the damage will continue. Ideally, choose a professional with a minimum of 3 to 5 years of experience. Be sure the company or individual has worked with businesses of your size. Research the company thoroughly to make sure it's legit. You don't want to worsen the breach.
Start Prevention as Soon as Possible
As soon as you address the breach, take action to prevent a future one. Change all the passwords for your business accounts. Choose options that aren't easy to guess, meaning they shouldn't be related to your business' name or anything personal about you. Strong passwords have a mix of letters and numbers, include symbols, use both upper and lowercase letters, and contain at least eight characters. Change passwords regularly to help prevent future breaches. Don't forget to upgrade your current security software. Make sure it's up to date and can guard against the risks that are most prevalent at the moment. Start training your staff on the best practices, so they may help prevent an issue like this from happening again.
Take the Right Steps to Recover
Recovering after a data branch includes stopping the damage and taking steps to prevent it from happening in the future. Everyone can become a victim of data breaches. This is why you have to be forward and admit the mistake and if the data breach impacts clients or stakeholders - contact the affected parties. Cooperation with law enforcement is essential too.
Although much larger in scale, a recent case is of one of the NFT marketplace - OpenSea. A data breach may have affected over 1.8 million email addresses. What has happened is that an employee of Customer.io, their email delivery vendor, misused employee access to download and share email addresses – provided by OpenSea users and subscribers to a newsletter – with an unauthorized external party.
What other tips and best practices are there to remediate data breach