In part 1 of Preparing your small business cybersecurity data breach response, the focus was securing your operations which is, naturally, a vital step.  In this post, the purpose is to begin preparations to Fix vulnerabilities. 

Cybersecurity breaches are very complicated situations that don’t often provide a clear alert that a problem exists.  Once a breach has been discovered, it requires a response plan ready to execute. 

Taken from the FTC’s Data Breach Response Guide:

Think about service providers. If service providers were involved, examine what personal information they can access and decide if you need to change their access privileges. Also, ensure your service providers are taking the necessary steps to make sure another breach does not occur. If your service providers say they have remedied vulnerabilities, verify that they really fixed things.

Check your network segmentation. When you set up your network, you likely segmented it so that a breach on one server or in one site could not lead to a breach on another server or site. Work with your forensics experts to analyze whether your segmentation plan was effective in containing the breach. If you need to make any changes, do so now.

Work with your forensics experts. Find out if measures such as encryption were enabled when the breach happened. Analyze backup or preserved data. Review logs to determine who had access to the data at the time of the breach. Also, analyze who currently has access, determine whether that access is needed, and restrict access if it is not. Verify the types of information compromised, the number of people affected, and whether you have contact information for those people. When you get the forensic reports, take the recommended remedial measures as soon as possible.

Have a communications plan. Create a comprehensive plan that reaches all affected audiences — employees, customers, investors, business partners, and other stakeholders. Don’t make misleading statements about the breach. And don’t withhold key details that might help consumers protect themselves and their information. Also, don’t publicly share information that might put consumers at further risk.

Anticipate questions that people will ask. Then, put top tier questions and clear, plain-language answers on your website where they are easy to find. Good communication up front can limit customers’ concerns and frustration, saving your company time and money later.

The next and final step in the process is to Notify Appropriate Parties. 

When you’re ready to discuss the complicated process of fixing vulnerabilities in the event of a data breach, contact your Responsive consultant.