Every company has data, but not all data is valued the same way. Regardless of the varying levels of importance, the bottom line is that your company data deserves to be protected. If your company suffers a data breach, what should you do? What are your options? And is it possible to prevent a breach in the first place?

Think of your company data as a wallet. Even if you don’t have large amounts of cash in there, you still don’t want it to be stolen. If it was, you’d have to shut down credit cards and buy a replacement. But let’s say you were holding onto your friend’s cash as a favor, and your wallet gets lost or stolen. Chances are your friend probably wouldn’t want you to hold their cash in the future.

This same scenario applies to a company data breach. If your customers’ banking or personal information gets stolen, how likely are they to continue doing business with you? Bottom line: a data breach can significantly damage your company’s reputation.

Company documents and information need to be protected, and companies who overlook this by having poor document security put themselves at risk of having information stolen, paying fines, or facing legal penalties.

Because there is so much at stake, having a data breach crisis management platform is crucial to your company’s continuing success. A good crisis management platform should provide full security. Remember when we said not all data is valued the same? That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be protected.

If your company suffers a data breach, here are some important tips to make sure you cover all your bases and do the right thing.

Be Proactive

First and foremost, if your company suffers an unexpected data breach, you have to do what you can to get out in front of it. Unfortunately, companies may decide to forgo this to help save face. And while this is certainly understandable, it can be detrimental to your company’s trustworthiness. When a data breach occurs, it’s often the company’s and their clients’ information that gets stolen. Sweeping this breach under the rug turns a blind eye to the fact that your clients have the right to know that their private information has been compromised.

After a breach, the best thing to do is to issue a statement to everyone affected, including stakeholders. Furthermore, you should alert everyone that you are implementing new security measures to mitigate the current situation and prevent further breaches. Remember, the faster you respond to the breach, the better it reflects on your company’s response to urgent matters.

Conduct an Internal Investigation

After you’ve announced the breach, you should conduct an internal investigation to gather as much information as you can find. Doing this can help you understand how the breach occurred and provide valuable insight into how you can avoid it in the future.

But how do you get started? First, you should look into how the breach will impact your day-to-day operations so you can patch up your security. Second, find out how the company’s data was stolen. For example, did someone hack your system, or was the information stolen by a physical intruder? While both types of breaches are serious, the solutions they require vary.

If you don’t have the resources to conduct an internal investigation, don’t worry. Data and document security firms have crisis management tools available to determine any gaps in your security.

File a Report

Once the investigation is complete, you can’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet. You need to file an after-action report, which will detail what you did to remedy the breach and what you can do to protect your company moving forward. This report will also document areas that need improvement. An after-action report can serve as an instruction manual for employees so they understand how to prevent data breaches in the future.

The bottom line is that a document storage platform is one of the easiest ways to safeguard your company’s data and keep it out of the wrong hands.

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DataWider is website on AI, Big Data & Analytics, Blockchain & Software Testing and its edited by Arshad Cini.

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