Do businesses need a data breach response plan?

In today’s fast-paced economy, businesses are becoming increasingly aware that protecting their data is not just an ethical practice. It is also a way to ensure that operations can continue running for more revenue and growth.

At the same time, organisations are constantly under threat of security breaches, requiring them to strengthen their security postures. In order to protect your company’s data, you will need to have a data breach response plan on hand to help you address breaches quickly and mitigate any damage.

An overview of data breaches

A data breach can be defined as unauthorised access to, or disclosure of, sensitive information by another entity. Breaches may occur in several ways. For example, when a company’s computer is hacked and documents are stolen or when an employee shares information with another source (be it accidentally or willingly).

A simple explanation of data breach response plans

A data breach response plan (DBRP) refers to a comprehensive cyber security solution that details how an organisation will respond to security breaches. It identifies and explains the specific responsibilities and actions employees are required to take when a breach occurs.

A DBRP should encapsulate the entire company, factoring in any possible scenarios, along with highlighting how organisations will carry out their strategy while effectively communicating with the affected individuals. A DBRP also touches upon your company’s cyber security solutions and the procedures that ought to be carried out once the breach has been brought under control.

What are the benefits of having a DBRP?

Security threats spring up when you least expect them to. As such, by investing in your data security solutions and implementing a detailed DBRP into your business, you will reward yourself with several benefits that can streamline your data protection efforts.

The benefits of having a response plan include:

From malware to phishing scams, there are various cyber threats organisations must withstand. A DBRP can work alongside your company’s other cyber security solutions to help you mitigate these risks and usher in high levels of business security.

How can businesses create a data breach response plan (and deploy it)?

While the information within a DBRP is different depending on the company that makes it, the basic steps of creating and establishing one as an organisational process are fairly similar across industries.

To keep things simple, when developing and launching a DBRP, businesses should:

1. Create a DBRP team

A DBRP team should include staff from different areas of your business. The team will operate as a task force that researches security risks and threats, applies them to the company, and creates strategies that can be used to respond to them. In the event of a breach, the DBRP team will put the plan into action.

2. Conduct thorough research

As touched upon above, the research should cover various cyber threats and vulnerabilities and how they relate to your business. At this stage, the research your DBRP team conducts will be foundational to the strategies you will deploy during a breach.

3. Develop the plan and obtain approval from key personnel

Your DBRP should contain the following information:

Once the DBRP is completed and tested, you should bring it to the attention of senior management and other stakeholders for their approval. This will ensure that everyone is aware of your company’s data and business security strategies.

4. Revise the plan regularly

You should routinely update your plan (especially when organisational changes are made or when new technology is introduced) to make sure that it does not become obsolete. An out-of-date DBRP puts your customer’s personal information at greater risk. However, a plan that is updated and tested according to the latest business security measures is more likely to be successful.

What are the potential consequences of not having a DBRP?

While the upfront costs of a breach can be devastating to small businesses and their larger peers, the long-term costs of not having a DBRP can be even greater.

A lack of preparedness can lead to a number of negative outcomes, such as:

The time and energy you and your team have put into building your organisation are invaluable. If a data breach occurs, you should not let your work go to waste. So, one of the best ways to keep your business safe and compliant is to invest in a data breach response plan.

Create a data breach response plan for your business today

In 2022, Australia’s number of data breaches increased by 489% within a quarter. As these threats become more common, the need for businesses to have a DBRP grows.

The cyber security solutions experts at Muscatech can assist you in creating a DBRP that meets your specific needs and protects your organisation from data breaches.

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