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Summary: Falling victim to a data breach is a stressful, costly situation for businesses of all sizes. In this article, we'll focus on the steps businesses can take after any type of cyber attack. Download PDF Version
Unfortunately, any small business could face the risk of a data breach or cyber attack. Regardless of how big or small your business is, if your data, important documents or customer information is exposed, recovering from the aftermath could be difficult. There are many types of cyber attacks. Some of the most common include:
While you may be tempted to delete everything after a data breach occurs, preserving evidence is critical to assessing how the breach happened and who was responsible. The very first step you should take after a breach is to determine which servers have been compromised and to contain them as quickly as possible to ensure that other servers or devices won't also be infected.
Here are a few immediate things you can do to attempt to contain a data breach:
You should change all affected or vulnerable passwords immediately. Create new, strong passwords for each account, and refrain from reusing the same passwords on multiple accounts. That way, if a data breach happens again in the future, the damage may be limited.
If you are one victim of a broader attack that's affected multiple businesses, follow updates from trusted sources charged with monitoring the situation to make sure you know what to do next. Whether you're part of a broader attack or the sole victim, you'll also need to determine the cause of the breach within your specific facility so you can work to help prevent the same kind of attack from happening again. Ask yourself:
You may be able to pinpoint how the breach was initiated by checking your security data logs through your firewall or email providers, your antivirus program, or your Intrusion Detection System. If you have difficulty determining the source and scope of the breach, consider hiring a qualified cyber investigator - it may be worth the investment to help protect yourself moving forward.
You'll also need to find out who may have been affected by the breach, including employees, customers, and third-party vendors. Assess how severe the data breach was by determining what information was accessed or targeted, such as birthdays, mailing addresses, email accounts and credit card numbers.
Your employees should be aware of your business's policies regarding data breaches. After discovering the cause of the breach, adjust and communicate your security protocols to help ensure the same type of incident doesn't occur again. Consider restricting your employees' access to data based on their job roles. You should also regularly train your employees about how to prepare for a data breach or avoid a data breach in the first place.
Communicate with your staff to let them know what happened. Define clear authorisations for team members to communication on the issue both internally and externally. Remaining on the same page with your team is crucial while your business is recovering from a data breach. You may need to consult with legal counsel to figure out the best way to let your customers know about the breach.
Cyber liability insurance is designed to help you recover from a data breach or cyber security attack. Contact your carrier as soon as possible to see how they can help assist you with what to do after a cyber attack. If you don't have a cyber liability insurance policy, AmTrust's appointed agents can assist you in the process of selecting cyber liability coverage that could help with costs associated with addressing future cyber incidents as well as identifying potential cyber exposures.
Emphasize your willingness to be transparent with your customers by considering a special action hotline specifically to address questions from affected individuals. Communication can be key to maintaining positive, professional relationships with your patrons. A data breach can be stressful, but as long as you take the right steps, your business will be better prepared to recover successfully. Moving forward, conduct frequent security checks to help reduce the likelihood of an incident occurring again in the future.
Make sure your businesses takes time to review and update information security policies, business continuity plans and data breach response plans, and regularly communicates with employees about them.
If you discover you are the victim of a fraudulent incident:
Cyber liability insurance for small businesses provides a variety of services to address the modern day risks and threats of business identity theft and data breaches. For more information about cyber liability coverage contact us. This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors. Coverages may vary by location. Contact your local RSM for more information.