How a Leader Should React to Your Organization’s Data Breach

Data breaches are more common than ever. In fact, in 2021, there were 1,864 data breaches at companies, compromising the private information of millions of people. That’s up from just 1,279 in 2019, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.

When a breach happens, it can destroy the trust you’ve worked so hard to build with customers and employees. Before one happens at your organization, it’s therefore important to think through how you will react. To help you respond effectively, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Follow protocol.

You have a protocol in place for a reason and a breach is not the time to veer off course. Under stress, you might be tempted to. However, don’t act in an impulsive way and instead make sure you follow your plan to minimize the disruptions at your organization.

Understand the source.

Before you notify those impacted, like employees and customers, make sure you know the details about the attack. What happened and how did hackers access your data? This is key when it comes to preventing future breaches.

Act quickly.

Get out in front of the breach with fast action before rumors begin to swirl. For instance, collaborate with IT, alert your legal team, and talk to your PR personnel about crisis communication. This ensures you communicate the problem at the most appropriate time and only offer the necessary details.

Notify only those who need to know.

Let those who are affected know about the data breach. This can include employees, customers, vendors and partners. Make sure this process involves your legal team and PR personnel, as well, so the message is accurate and appropriate. Trying to maintain trust is key.

Improve data security measures.

After you notify those involved, take measures to strengthen security. For instance, ask all employees to change passwords on devices and require multifactor authentication. Also, if the issue came from an internal source, focus on ramping up security training.

Another option to consider?

Bring in a professional consultant, like to Happy Faces Records Management, to assist with storing, managing or securely destroying data. We can safely and securely store or destroy documents and records, so you can prevent a breach and gain more peace of mind. Contact us today to get started.

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