One of the worst-case scenarios for any business or organization is having a data breach. That information can come from a corporate server, for instance. It could be the result of an insider stealing information, or it could be accidentally exposed on a website.

When a data breach happens, there are a few steps that should be followed. This will ensure that the breach is closed and that it will be a lot more difficult to breach in the future.

Secure Operations

The first step in a data breach is to make sure that the “opening” is closed off. You don’t want more information leaking out through that hole in the operation. It can mean checking for physical breaches as well as vulnerabilities in the system.

Assemble a data forensic team to take all impacted equipment offline right away. If possible, put clean machines online to prevent downtime but it is important to pinpoint the equipment that has been directly impacted.

Fix Any Vulnerabilities

When the problem has been successfully identified, it is time to make sure that any vulnerabilities are taken care of. Do things like check network segmentation or look for different service providers that don’t have so many vulnerabilities.

It also means working with forensics experts to properly identify the source of the breach and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. Have a plan for communicating the breach internally and how to answer those questions.

Notify any Appropriate Parties

Having a data breach can result in far-reaching impacts. Whether it be customer information or government-sensitive information, notifying all parties impacted is the next step. There may even be legal requirements; know what those may be.

Being transparent means letting anyone impacted by the breach know what happened. Proper communication can also mean notifying law enforcement so that the proper steps can be taken to find the perpetrator of the breach. Transparency is key; hiding the breach will only result in more problems down the line.