Demonstrating Leadership Following a Data Breach

Unless you've spent the last year hiding under a rock, you've probably heard of the massive data breaches affecting businesses and consumers. Equifax, Yahoo, Uber, and Dropbox are all perfect examples.

While no data breach is a good data breach, there are better and worse ways of handling a security incident. Unfortunately, all of the companies named above have been criticized for the ways in which they revealed the unhappy news (although some experts disagree).

These criticisms are usually directed towards management, which doesn't reflect well on the brand as a whole.

Below, CyberPolicy discusses how to demonstrate leadership within your organization following a data breach. While there is no panacea for this threat, cyber breach insurance can protect you against the financial damages associated with data breach.

Step 1: Develop an incident response plan. The best way to avoid chaos in your organization is to plan ahead. Start by creating an incident response plan that lays out the duties and roles of each manager. Teamwork is crucial, so don't take on everything yourself. Just be there to lead the process in the right direction.

Step 2: Identify the need and goals of each department. The difference between a good and a great incident response plan depends on depth. While a surface-level overview of duties and requirements is important, it can still leave some room for uncertainty.

"For example, Communications may want to be completely open and transparent while Legal may want to wait to more fully assess the liability exposure that such a stance could create," writes Harvard Business Review. "They each have a legitimate case."

Identify complex situations early on. Other examples include quarantining accounting data and developing a statement for your PR team.

Step 3: Oversee the process and manage touch points. Tackling a data breach is no easy task for your co-workers, especially when they are also expected to perform their normal tasks. Step in to help when and where you are needed.

Step 4: Watch out for secondary attacks. While the data breach might be the primary concern, it's often not the only issue. Work with your in-house IT team or security agency to inspect your network for other signs of incursion or attacks lurking within your network.

Examples include hidden malware programs, compromised accounts, stolen passwords, excessive spam, and cyber extortion.

Step 5: Reassure the Public. Remember, it's not just you and your business affected by the attack. Data from your customers, clients, and partners are also wrapped up in this whole situation.

To ease tensions, you'll need to deliver rolling updates on the status of your investigation. Remind everyone you have their best interests at heart and you are doing everything you can to remedy the situation. This will show leadership within and without your company.

Step 6: Never say never. You might be thinking, this will never happen to me. And we honestly hope it never does. But knowing that over half of all cyberattacks are directed towards small and medium businesses; no one is immune to the threat.

Make the smart choice for your business and invest in cyber breach insurance today. Visit CyberPolicy for more information and a free quote.

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