Cyber Insurance Blog

Cyber Security Risk Management: Data Breach Response

Cyber Security Risk Management: Data Breach Response

Learn the Most Crucial Steps to Take in the Event of a Cyber Breach

Cyber security risk management has increasingly become a point of focus for businesses that understand the risk involved with a potential data breach. While much of the focus is on preventative measures, a critical element of any comprehensive cyber security risk management plan is being able to respond in the event of a cyber attack. Businesses with the right cyber liability insurance coverage and a response plan in place are better able to limit their exposure and mitigate the effects of a breach, which can be the difference between whether or not they survive a cyber attack.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

The companies that survive cyber security breaches have measures in place ahead of time as part of a comprehensive cyber security risk management strategy. They automate the breach response process to be able to quickly mitigate the effects of a cyber attack.

An important part of cyber security risk management is having a comprehensive cyber liability insurance policy in place that addresses the industry-specific exposures a company faces. While some companies mistakenly believe cyber insurance doesn’t cover much, the reality is cyber policies have never been more comprehensive and wide-ranging. A company can obtain a quality cyber insurance policy that limits their exposure in the event of a breach and mitigates the fallout from a cyber attack.

Have Notification Measures in Place

In the event of a cyber attack, companies typically have up to 72 hours to alert the appropriate parties of the breach. Businesses that implement notification measures ahead of time are better able to meet the legal notification requirements. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC,) in the event of a breach, you may need to notify:

  • Customers
  • Businesses
  • Local law enforcement
  • The FBI
  • The U.S. Secret Service
  • The U.S. Postal Inspection Service
  • The media

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The FTC also advises familiarizing yourself with the state laws and regulations related to your industry, as most states have enacted legislation requiring notification when personal information is compromised. If a breach involves electronic health information, your case may fall under HIPPA’s Breach Notification Rule, which requires an additional set of reporting.

Four Steps to Take in the Event of Breach

In the event of a cyber attack, it’s important to remain calm and follow a predetermined procedure. Any comprehensive response plan should include these steps:

Adjust the affected systems or machines to minimize data loss. Take them offline to prevent further loss, but don’t turn them off before a forensics team evaluates the situation. Change your passwords and lock your credentials, as hackers often compromise these in order to carry out a cyber attack.

Assess the damage done to your company. A data forensics team can perform an analysis of what happened and determine what information was stolen. It can also determine how the breach happened and stop additional data loss.

Alert affected customers and the appropriate authorities. Once you’ve determined what information was compromised, you can move forward by alerting all of the necessary parties. This may include credit reporting agencies, regulatory agencies, and the media.

Adapt your company’s policies to prevent a similar attack in the future. Identify the areas that need to be improved; most breaches occur because of a gap in training, lack of appropriate security measures, or outdated software that was exploited. Employ new measures to reduce the likelihood of another attack, including improved authentication methods and stronger encryption.

While breaches are not 100% preventable, a comprehensive response plan and cyber liability insurance policy can greatly reduce the impact of a cyber attack. To find out more about the cyber coverage options available, speak with a ProWriters expert today.

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