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How to Get Your Small Business Back on Track Following a Data Breach

 

Disgruntled employees, malware, hackers, ransomware, and phishing — virtually any company could become the victim of a data breach, and according to some statistics, small businesses are falling victim with increasing frequency. Unfortunately, criminals are becoming more wily, and lost data can mean lost business — and sometimes even failure. How do you ward off potential trouble? And if you should happen to fall victim, what can you do to ensure recovery?

Damaged Beyond Repair

You might be thinking that your company is an unlikely target. Maybe you run a pretty tight ship, go out of your way to ensure morale, and have some protections established to filter out junk mail and so forth. However, cybercriminals are getting pretty clever, and while their tactics aren’t necessarily targeting small businesses outright, small businesses tend to have the highest vulnerability to their methods. As an unfortunate result, it can mean more than just a hiccup in your day — it can mean shutting your doors. And according to Small Business Trends, that’s exactly what happens to 60 percent of small businesses within six months of a data breach.

The Clock Is Ticking

If your company should become a victim, the sooner you can get things under control, the better your chances for a full recovery. What’s more, if you are able to determine exactly what happened, you can better protect yourself from a repeat occurrence, and you might even be able to prosecute the responsible party.

Unless you have IT specialists on staff with the right expertise, if your data becomes compromised, you’ll need outside resources at your fingertips. Look for a well-trained, trustworthy, and highly qualified digital forensic specialists team such as Secure Forensics.  They can lead you through the process of staunching trouble, recovering data, and getting back on track so that your data breach is a misstep, rather than a ruining.

Damage Beyond Data

There is more to a breach than just data loss and restoration. There is legislation requiring businesses to notify consumers when their personal information is jeopardized, and it’s important to understand you’re required to connect with customers in accordance with where they live, not just where your business is located.

Consumers aren’t generally thinking about security when they do business with you, but once they find out your company experienced a breach, you can expect to be scrutinized. As Forbes explains, rebuilding trust following a breach can be tricky, but being transparent is your key to success. Contact consumers quickly, let them know precisely what data was lost, what actions are being taken to fix the issue, and what you are doing to ensure the problem won’t recur.

Proactive Measures

Knowing to connect with a computer forensics team and being ready to explain what’s happened are important measures. There are also things you can do to help avoid trouble in the first place. Ensuring that all users change passwords regularly is a simple but important step, and ensure everyone chooses strong passwords.

We’ve all experienced issues with remembering passwords, but How-To Geek has suggestions for creating memorable, effective passwords. Use at least a dozen varied characters, change passwords frequently, and use simple tricks to remember them. You can pick a phrase and replace some words and letters with symbols. For example, “one for September” could be “14*s3pT3mB3r.” Also, establish some protocols for handling suspicious emails, and train your employees to recognize trouble when they see it.

Another proactive measure many companies find valuable is investing in cyber insurance. In the event trouble still sneaks through, it protects your company from potential losses and liabilities relating to the data breach and can be an important financial safety net. There is a wide variety of coverage, so do some research before deciding on a plan.

Cybercrime is alive and well, and small businesses are often vulnerable. Ensure you have an action plan, and enforce defensive practices. Should your company fall, victim, your choices and actions could make the difference between a minor misstep and complete ruin.

 

Author Bio:

Lindsey Weiss

Lindsey enjoys marketing and promoting one’s brand. She believes that to move your market, you must know your market. She is the co-creator of Outbounding.com, which connects organizations with the publishers and webmasters who care about the vertical