How To Respond To A Security Breach

In order to safeguard and preserve the integrity of a business, it is essential for organisations to take necessary precautions to keep their assets, personnel, data, networks and facilities safe from theft, trespass, or any other act that intends to cause serious damage or loss. Establishing security policies and investing in commercial security systems are some of the steps that businesses typically take to identify potential security risks and prevent them from occurring.

License: Creative Commons image source

License: Creative Commons image source

However, one cannot dismiss the possibility that despite robust security measures, certain threats may still be able to leave a business off-guard and penetrate their defences. Security breaches, whether in the form of theft of files and equipment or unauthorised entry into a critical location, or the infiltration of computer networks, must be dealt with immediately to avoid further loss or damage to the business.  But how should an institution respond to a security breach? Here we list some guidelines on how businesses canefficiently handle a security breachand make sure that such an unfortunate incident does not happen again.

Gather an incident response team

When a security breach occurs, the most sensible step that a business should take first is to gather the right people, or an incident response team, who have the capacity to address the situation. The team should include key executives, public relations, legal experts, and corporate security. It is important to gather a team even before an unfortunate event has occurred so a strategy can immediately be developed and responsibilities duly delegated.

Assess the gravity of the situation

A series of investigation should be conducted to determine the scope and gravity of the security breach. Initially, the response team must examine and identify what asset or information has been compromised, when and how the breach occurred and when it was detected, and how and who was able to detect the breach. Once the team has acquired a background of the situation, it is then advised to look into the impact of the breach. This would include examining who or what has been affected, and the impact on productivity and revenue. From there, the team should start collecting possible evidence that may help identify and capture the perpetrators.

Inform the appropriate people and authorities

Depending on the nature and scope of the breach, businesses are bound by law to report the incident to the right enforcement authorities. It’s important for your corporate security to coordinate with the authorities to avoid conflicts and ensure a smooth and speedy investigation. Notifying employees and affected customers should also be considered, especially if the breach involves unauthorised access to personal, financial, or medical records. Nevertheless, this can be deferred if disclosure or public announcement would affect the investigation.

Take proper documentation

Whether an incident has already been resolved or not, the organisation should ensure that proper documentation is taken from the time the breach was identified to how the incident response team acted on it. However, it’s a fact that documentation is often overlooked during critical situations since the team may be too preoccupied in dealing with the matter at hand. Businesses should understand, though, that proper documentation is not only helpful should the company decideto take the perpetrators or intruders to the court, but is also valuable in restoring the normal operations and strengthening a company’s security policies and systems.

Security breaches can have a tremendous impact in a company’s productivity, financial status, and reputation. But while there are efficient approaches that organisations can apply to resolve security breaches, there’s still nothing like having a high level of preparedness to combat potential threats. Thus, utilising the right commercial security systems and corporate security provider is certainly of paramount importance.

A self-professed geek, Debra Wright has dreamt of being a writer since as long as she could remember. She has recently written about a number of topics online, including corporate security, and hopes to get more people interested in security services through her written work.


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