The Absolute IT Asset Disposal Blog

What To Do If You Suspect A Data Breach

What To Do If You Suspect A Data BreachThe steps needed to recover from a data breach are just as critical as the measures you need to take against them. Let’s assume you have all the usual safeguards in place: an up-to-date firewall and anti-virus, good data security policies, safe asset disposal/recycling procedures. What do you do when, despite this, cyber attackers can find ways to access privileged information? When you suspect a data breach, following certain procedures can minimise the damage and help collect useful details about the incident.

Make An Enquiry

1) Contact IT Support

The minute an employee realises that there may be a breach, the IT team should know about it. A company may have an in-house IT support team or an outsourced team; whatever the case, the alert should be immediate. Leaving a data breach unattended – e.g. over the weekend – may continue to compromise the system, leading to the loss of more data.

2) Analyse The Breach

Once the IT support team has been notified, it can begin evaluating the details of the breach. If an enterprise is to employ the right solutions, it must know the type of breach, its point of attack and possible source. This information will allow IT experts to fix the breach and prevent more damage. During this stage, technicians will check the data that suffered during the breach. Was there any information theft? Which files got compromised? The specialists must also have a containment option to prevent the data breach from spreading. IT technicians should record every part of the investigation for a comprehensive report.

3) Communication

Different stakeholders should know what is going on. The company's PR team, if it has one, should have all the information so that it can plan a strategy, especially in severe breaches. Employees need to be informed so that they can protect their devices. If the breach affected customer information, the individuals concerned should be notified. Communication must be honest and detailed. If the enterprise had any part to play in the breach, it should admit fault. A company should inform people about the steps it is taking to remedy the situation. Businesses in some sectors have a legal obligation to report data breaches to the Information Commissioner’s Office within 72 hours. When doing this, the enterprise must provide all pertinent information.

4) Test the Solution

Once the IT technicians provide the correct fix, they should test it to see its effectiveness. Penetration tests will show if the agreed-upon solution offers the necessary protection. During the testing, the IT team can collect details about the system to put in the final report. An enterprise can hire experts in various fields to carry out investigations, depending on the level of the breach. During this stage, a company can also subscribe to a recovery program to guard against future attacks.

Recovering From Data Security Issues

A data breach can cripple a company if the enterprise doesn't take the appropriate recovery steps. Security policies should include the procedures to follow in case of a data breach. At Absolute IT Asset Disposals, we offer data sanitisation with our recycling services to ensure that companies are secure from data breaches. Even with strict protection protocols, a business must know how to respond to a data breach if it happens. Send an email to to request more information.

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