How to Prepare Your Business for a Data Breach

By   muhammad malik
Chief Editor , Information Security Buzz | May 31, 2016 05:30 pm PST

As anxiety-inducing as it may sound, you need to run your business under the assumption that a horrifying disaster could strike at any moment. In a perfect world, there would be no reason to fear a data breach, but we don’t live in a perfect world. Taking the right preventative measures can make all the difference in the world in how your business recovers from a disaster, in the event that one should befall you. There’s no such thing as being too safe, and being sorry isn’t enough to help you regain what you may lose.

Evaluate your current insurance

Business insurance companies know that anyone can become the target of malicious hackers. Because of this, many of these companies offer some kind of cyber liability protection. Depending on what banks you use, you may find that the people in control of your money have already taken some kind of action to protect you from these malicious hackers.

You need to review your policy to make sure you’re covered should such an event occur. If you aren’t, you may want to update or amend your current policy to include protections against cyber infiltration. You may have to pay more on a monthly basis, but it won’t be nearly as much as you’ll have to pay in the event that you find yourself having been infiltrated and you don’t have the right insurance.

Craft a customer service plan

If you experience a data breach, things are going to be chaotic at best. While you’re scrambling to determine your next move, putting together a customer service plan will seem almost impossible. You’re trying to gather everything you can to keep your business from going under, and you may neglect your customers in the process. They’re panicked too, and they’ll want to know if and how they were affected. That’s why you should develop a service plan ahead of time.

What will you tell people about the incident? How will you notify them? Who will prepare a statement? It helps to know these things beforehand. Create a general disaster plan. It may help to work up a template that details can be plugged into later. If there comes a time where you’ll need it, you’ll be able to act immediately. Handling these things ahead of time will free you up to deal with ameliorating the damage.

Know what you’re prepared to offer

Your insurance can help you deal with the back end of the issue, but there’s still much to be solved on the front end. You’ve informed your customers that their information may have been targeted, and told them that you’re pursuing the individuals responsible. They want and need to know that, but they’ll require more than that from you. To keep your business from failing as a result of a data breach, you’ll need to inspire your customers to keep their confidence in you.

One of the most popular methods utilized by companies affected by these sorts of breaches is complimentary credit monitoring. This generally involves hiring an outside firm to investigate the situation as an advocate for your customers. This firm will be able to determine if any of your customers have become victims of fraud or identity theft, while implementing preventative measures that will assure that they won’t become victims if they have not already.

It’s important to remain forward thinking and attentive to the needs of your business and your customers in a time of crisis. Try as hard as you might, sometimes the determination of a hacker will trump even the most reputable security measures. Just remember to take a few deep breaths and head valiantly into battle. You can survive this.

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