Companies of all sizes now understand the kind of data breach threats they face on a regular basis, and most have some measures in place to combat them. However, there's a difference between taking basic measures to reduce breach risks – such as installing anti-virus and firewall software – and actually having a comprehensive plan to both continually monitor these kinds of threats and move quickly to address them when they occur.
Of course, it's not always easy for smaller businesses in particular to cultivate those kinds of plans, often because they don't have trained security professionals on staff in charge of protecting their overall IT infrastructure. Nonetheless, it's vital that they put such plans in place or else deal with potentially significant fallout when or if they are hit with a breach, according to a report from JD Supra Business Advisor. The fact is that many small businesses may not even know what their data breach vulnerabilities are, let alone how to address them, and finding a good jumping-off point is vital here.
What can be done?
Having a plan for every aspect of a firm's operations in the event of a data breach is important, because it lets everyone know exactly what they're supposed to do when such an incident occurs, the report said. Working with an IT pro to craft ways leaders can monitor and detect hacking attempts, train employees when it comes to the best practices for handling sensitive data and spotting threats like phishing emails. In addition, it's important for companies to run data breach drills so they can improve their readiness on an ongoing basis.
Undertaking this kind of effort isn't always easy, but it is crucial. For that reason, companies that don't necessarily have it in the budget to have an IT staffer on the payroll, it might be wise to invest in data center services, including those that help to ensure business continuity in the event of a breach. Taking even these basic steps can go a long way toward helping companies be prepared to handle a breach.
What about the fallout?
Of course, all the preparedness in the world typically isn't enough to totally eliminate data breach threats. Simply put, most companies are likely to experience a breach, according to Business 2 Community. With this in mind, companies also have to plan for how they will assess the damage done by any such incident and how they will deal with it.
That includes having processes in place for how companies will comply with data breach disclosure laws for the states in which they operate, and what – if anything – they will do above and beyond those standards, the report said. But even within the businesses themselves, executives will have to know how to address technical aspects of the breach, such as quarantining affected machines and checking to see if any residual effects still linger on other systems.