A security breach is a real risk for any business. Valuable data may be stolen which can have a negative impact on the trust element of a client/company relationship. Network security protocols should be in place for every business, in addition to a solid response plan which can help limit the damage to the reputation of the company.
When a security hack is discovered, no matter how long after the initial breach, immediate steps should be taken to reduce the amount of data the hacker is able to destroy or obtain. It is essential that a business does not attempt to cover up a network security breach, as this could result in liability and damage issues.
Large companies likely have an IT department, who will have expert knowledge about how to effectively deal with the security breach. Small businesses, however, may not have dedicated on-site IT professionals.
Steps to implement when dealing with a security breach are:
1. Get Offline
Taking the server offline then this will be the best course of action to prevent further damage and possible theft of data. Change all passwords and shut down your system. Security breaches can allow hackers to gain access to all types of information, including any saved passwords on external sites. We recommend changing those passwords as well.
2. Assess The Damage
While most hackers are looking for information to steal or corrupt, some are just scoping for weak areas in your network, and others are hacking for no particular reason at all. An IT professional can assess your system to check for time stamps, actions, and trails of code left by the hacker.
If you use SSL certificates on your websites, any breach of the SSL product needs to be reported to the Certificate Authority, as the hacker could have accessed the cert or private key file.
3. Investigate The Breach
It is vital that the team identifies the breach location to eliminate the problem and to prevent it from happening again. Many security breaches can often trace back to an email attachment.
At this point, you may need to review employee access to your systems to rule out the chance of the email being sent by a terminated employee, or someone who left the company on bad terms. The breach may also be attributed to a current employee who has a vendetta or issue with management or the company itself.
If these possibilities rule out, another possibility for the hack could be due to an open port during a technical repair.
4. Seek Legal Advice
If financial data or customer information was taken you will need to notify your legal department or contact an attorney. You are at risk of potential lawsuits, so taking this step as soon as possible will demonstrate that you have taken the appropriate course of action.
The steps above should prove helpful in the event of a network security breach, however, the absolute best practice is to have the correct security measures in place from the very start. IT Accuracy is an IT management company who specialize in professional IT services, data security, and cloud computing. Contact us to find out how we could help in preventing network security breaches in your business.