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How to Recover from a Data Breach

Excerpt: To recover from a data breach, organizations need to seek help from security experts who offer guidance about tools to recover stolen data and solutions to detect the attack vector. 

Key Phrase: Recover from a data breach

Every detail, right from school admissions to pension plans, is stored online by companies and individuals. This includes keeping reminders to review them periodically. However, when such data is leaked online to hackers, it can result in several frauds, impacting both monetary and data theft.

Since the first-ever system data breach in 2005, which exposed 1.4 million credit card numbers, the gravity of cyber attacks has rapidly increased. A data breach occurs when unauthorized access is gained to a system, either through login credentials, exploiting vulnerabilities, launching ransomware, and more. 

With the increased ransom amount and fines levied on companies for not protecting their data according to compliance, the need to recover from a data breach is higher than ever before. Before learning how to recover from a data breach, it is essential to understand what changes in an organization or otherwise after a data breach.

The following events are observed after a data breach:

  1. Hackers post about the data breach on their website.
  2. Hackers leave a ransom note or make monetary demands regarding their ransomware or other cyber attacks against the exfiltrated data.
  3. The media reports the incident, leading to a police inquiry and resulting in a loss of market value among a select few clients.
  4. Clients may file a lawsuit due to their data being exposed to hackers.
  5. Legal actions may be taken if neglect is found on the part of the company in following safety protocols.

How to recover from a data breach

Besides, financial, and emotional damage on the part of the victim of a data breach, companies face the challenge to tighten their cybersecurity infrastructure as soon as possible. A timely effort is also important to prevent another data breach in quick succession. 

Companies need to hire the right teams to help with detecting loopholes in the security infrastructure and offering insights into following compliance and regulations. It requires a robust team and spending on cybersecurity to recover from a data breach. 

The effort of a red team can help find vulnerabilities and attack vectors for future attacks, while the blue team can use its technical skills in patching the loopholes. 

Let us learn how to recover from a data breach in the following steps.

  • Hire data security professionals to look into the cyber attack.

CISOs and other security experts have extensive knowledge of data security aspects. Therefore, hiring them to recover from a data breach is imperative. They can assist in identifying necessary guidelines, tools, infrastructure, and a disaster management plan to facilitate the recovery process. 

  • Building the cybersecurity infrastructure 

By investing sufficiently and possessing expertise in security tools, organizations can effectively plan and implement their defense mechanisms. It is of utmost importance for the IT team and other employees to stay updated on the latest cybersecurity news and threat intelligence. This knowledge plays a vital role in enabling awareness of potential threats and ensuring prompt detection. 

  • Create an actionable recovery model.

An actionable recovery model relies on efficient time management, sound decision-making, and the successful restoration of systems. Following a data breach, it is crucial to have a reliable backup system in place to swiftly retrieve the necessary data and maintain operational continuity. Additionally, taking extra measures to change login credentials on all devices is essential to enhance overall security.

  • Train the employees 

Hackers employ various techniques, from exploiting software vulnerabilities to sending meticulously crafted phishing emails, in their attempts to breach device security. In cases where these tactics are unsuccessful, hackers often shift their focus to employees who may become fatigued and make wrong decisions. One such example is MFA (Multi Factor Authentication) fatigue, where employees receive requests on their devices to authorize login attempts for an account that a cybercriminal has partially compromised.

  • Alerting the necessary contacts

Organizations must adhere to the law by alerting every party impacted by a data breach. Informing the police is essential, but it is equally crucial to contact the individuals whose data has been compromised in any capacity. Diligence must be maintained in informing them and providing guidance on how to mitigate the risks associated with the breach.

In a nutshell, recovering from a data breach is not a task that can be accomplished in a day or a week. It can take months or even years, especially if adequate precautions were not taken prior to the attack on the enterprise.

Basic cyber hygiene, acquired from cybersecurity magazines, cyber news, and the latest cybersecurity updates, can help employees recognize suspicious activities. It is equally important to not only detect but also prevent malware and report any incidents.

Failure to fulfill these requirements by any employee of an organization can result in a data breach and subsequent fines. Therefore, organizations must prepare to recover from a data breach by equipping themselves with knowledge, allocating the necessary cybersecurity budget, implementing backups, and fostering teamwork.

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