5 Steps to Take When a Data Breach Hits You

The majority of today’s successful businesses are well aware of common data protection concerns and place a great deal of confidence in their own efforts to avoid a breach of data security.

It can be huge damage to the organization if it’s going through a security breach.  It could just be the hardest thing that your business would ever have to deal with. 

A hack of your infrastructure has no silver lining, but there are steps you may take to minimise the harm and avoid breaches from occurring in the future.

What is a Data Breach?

A Data breach happens when an organisation’s underlying security mechanisms are bypassed, leading to unauthorised access to private information. They can vary from low-risk to high-risk accidents. 

The security framework that the company has, such as a firewall, usually catches breaches. If an unknown user violates the security policy by attempting to obtain unauthorised access, the systems will alert.

The average total cost to a company of a data breach is $3.86 million

according to a study by the Ponemon Institute

Corporations and corporations are particularly tempting targets for cybercriminals, mainly because of the vast volume of information that can be obtained in one fell swoop.

Why do data breaches occur?

Cybercrime is a profitable industry for attackers and continues to grow. Attackers seek personally identifiable information to steal money, compromise identities, or sell over the dark web. Data breaches can occur for a number of reasons, including accidentally, but targeted attacks are typically carried out in these four ways:

  1. Exploiting system vulnerabilities

    Out-of-date software, outdated patches can create a way that allows an attacker to sneak malware onto a computer and steal data.

  2. Weak password

    Weak and insecure user passwords are easier for hackers to guess, especially if a password contains whole words or phrases.


    You could unintentionally download a virus or malware by simply visiting a compromised web page. A drive-by download will typically take advantage of a browser, application, or operating system that is out of date or has a security flaw.

  4. Malware attacks

    Attackers use spam and phishing email tactics to try to trick the user into revealing user credentials, downloading malware attachments, or directing users to vulnerable websites. Email is a common way for malware to end up on your computer.

  5. Attachments

    Avoid opening any links or attachments in an email from an unfamiliar source. Doing so can infect your computer with malware.

Steps to take after data breach

If your business or organisation has been violated, it is important to respond to it quickly and effectively to mitigate the harm.

Here are five steps that you can take after you have encountered a breach of security.

  1. Investigate the Incident

    It is necessary to gather information on the incident to verify that an incident has occurred (i.e. who, what, where, and when the incident occurred)

  2. Inform Users and Management

    Inform management with a review of the incident if the violation is real.

  3. Identify Probable Source

    Investigate and identify the source of data breach.  For instance, was the breach caused by an open port firewall, system malware, a successful email phishing attack, obsolete antivirus software, or an employee who disclosed confidential data unknowingly?

  4. Enhance Laws

    With the following experience enforce and update security standards. enforce policies such as DMARC , processes and technologies to avoid a recurrence.

  5. Periodic Assessment

    To make sure the system is uptodate and patches regularly, conduct periodic risk assessments with network penetration testing.

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