A network breach can be described as the potential access to confidential, protected, and sensitive data by an unauthorized individual. This data can be in the form of intellectual property, personally identifiable information, personal health information, or trade secrets. With technology advancing at a rapid pace, threats to data security have also become more advanced and rising in frequency. The reason is that an increasing number of businesses are placing more significant emphasis on the Internet.
Based on a study conducted by Pew Research Center, approximately 94% of small and medium-sized enterprises in the U.S rely on the Internet in their daily operations. Therefore, it is imperative to implement the necessary steps to avoid a network breach. But what do you do when your experience a breach of your network? Take the following steps to control a data breach:
- Find the source of the problem
Locate the source of the breach and cut it off at this point. It is important to check at every possible entry point such as employee emails and your company website. Isolating the problem from its center ensures that it does not spread and corrupt your whole network.
- Act swiftly
Once unauthorized network access has occurred, you should not waste any time. Immediately notify your IT department if you feel there is a problem in your network. This is because once breached, it will only take a short time for hackers to gain access to your firm’s sensitive information.
- Damage control and assessment
This involves gathering information on what data was infiltrated, which of your employees or clients were affected, who needs to know, and which is the best course of action. Depending on the scale of the breach, solutions will take the form of in-house control for incidents such as baiting and phishing. However, for more threatening occurrences such as hacking and introduction of malware, it is advisable to contact law enforcement and cyber-security agencies.
Steps Taken After a Network Breach
After locating the source of entry and containing it, there are a lot of measures to be undertaken so as to prevent the probability of it happening again. Thus, it is important to enlist the services of a professional IT company that will assist in the creation and development of a more secure network. These cyber-security experts will comprehensively analyze your network and come up with tailor-made solutions that suit your company.
A secure network is not only about regularly updating your firewalls and operating system but involves the implementation of an effective security plan. With the help of these experts, you will be able to:
- Create a layered security model that enhances data protection against unauthorized access. They can also monitor and regularly make updates to the system so that the risk of trespassing reduces.
- Take into consideration the agility and flexibility of cyber crimes, as well as focus on the non-technological aspect of network security. This ensures that security gaps are adequately filled by leveraging on the human component.
- Properly implement the new system in your entire enterprise by training your employees on appropriate internet use, and the new security plan.
Data security is important for small and medium-sized companies as it affects the relationships with their clients and employees. Once you experience a network breach, you have to decide whether you will entirely take your system offline, or continue running. With the changing trends in cyber threats and security, establishing a secure network is a progressive engagement between your company and IT experts to find a customized plan to fit your dynamic needs.