How to Recover From Data Breach

 Wednesday 29 August, 2018

We have various amounts of sensitive information that identify us. If we sign up for online services or products, we will have to supply this information in order to be quickly identified amongst the many other customers or users. But if the company that we give our information to does not have some sort of online security in place, like the security services offered by Computers in the City (Citc), we are at risk of having our identities stolen by hackers.

When businesses discover that they have had a data breach, they start to panic. However, they have to quickly calm down and figure out a course of action to prevent more information from being stolen. Companies can always buy some form of security and protection software, but that can only help them to prevent a data breach, not fix one that has already happened. It is up to the company and you to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and avoid any further damage.

1. Identifying the Data Breach

Data Breaches are, unfortunately, a common occurrence. In the majority of cases, companies will not know that they have been breached for months or even years. Typically, companies will only discover they have been breached when third-party companies, such as partners or banks, start contacting them about unusual transactions being made under several of their customers' names. Or, in other cases, companies start noticing that their software is running slower, third-party software keeps asking for credentials, or clients reporting that they are receiving spam emails. Once the companies have discovered that they have been breached, the hackers are long gone and have erased their trail. It is then up to the companies to discover just what kind of information has been stolen and to inform their clients about the breach.


2. What Type of Information Can Be Stolen?

There are three different sensitivity levels of information that can be stolen and depending on the level it will have to be determined what kind of action to take.

Least Sensitive

This includes information such as your name and home address. While this is not the most dangerous information that can be stolen, it can still cause an annoyance such as junk mail or your social media accounts being pestered.

More Sensitive

This includes email addresses and payment card account numbers. Stolen email addresses can lead to span while stolen card account numbers can lead to fraudulent charges.

Most Sensitive

This includes Social Security Numbers, online account passwords, and payment-card security codes. With this type of information, hackers can use your identity to create false accounts or apply for different services that can be hard to identify as a fraud.

3. Contain the Breach

Once a company has identified that a breach has occurred, they must contain it in order to prevent further spreading and damage. This is the right time for the company's IT department to initiate Recovery Policy. The Recovery Policy should include:

  • Disconnecting affected communications
  • Cleansing the system of unwanted files
  • Running Security patches and software updates
  • Isolating critical data
  • Initiating new login procedures
  • Uninstalling and reinstalling affected files and programs

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These steps are crucial for companies to take once a breach has been discovered because, without it, further information can be stolen from other clients or business partners.

Hacking can occur with any type of software that you've obtained online - even if you're downloading from a trusted source. Companies need to find, contain, and remove whatever triggered the data breach before going any further with recovering from the breach. After the company has stopped and removed the corrupted data files, they will then have to alert their clients and other business partners about the breach.

4. What Can You Do to Recover from a Breach?

You know what companies do to stop, contain, and deal with a data breach, but what does it mean for you? If you receive a notice from a company or business that they have been breached, you must take action as soon as possible. Some companies will try and reassure you that their information is encrypted and that you are not in any danger, but it is still best to take preventative actions to protect yourself and personal information.

Ask the Company for Help

You can see if the company offers some sort of protection plan or assistance to the clients that have been affected by the breach. That can help you determine if you are at risk or not and, in some cases, they can even help you find out just how far your information has gone.

Change Passwords

The easiest preventative for you to do is to change all your passwords. These could be the ones where you have inputted your name, address, email address, credit card number, and Social Security Number. Hackers could potentially discover your passwords by only actually having only one at hand. So it is for your benefit to change all your passwords to be more complex and harder to crack. You can also remotely wipe data from your systems using Pulseway limiting the damage

Contact Your Bank

In the event that your credit card number has been stolen contact your bank to see if any fraudulent charges have been made unless your bank has contacted you already. The bank can cancel your credit card, help you get back the money that was taken, and send you a new credit card.

If Your Identity Was Stolen

If you know that your identity has been stolen, you will need to report for identity theft with the federal government. They will further be able to help you against fraud and identity theft.

It can be scary if you are a victim of a data breach, but with fast actions, you can prevent your sensitive information from being wrongly used. Data breaches are becoming more frequent than ever, so it is up to you to have some form of protection and be prepared in case companies you are linked to experience a data breach.

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