How to Navigate the Aftermath of a Data Breach

By Michael
December 29, 2014

If you manage a company that relies upon IT or databases – which, in this day and age, is most of them – data breaches are an ever-increasing threat. There is a significant chance you will be faced with a data breach at one point or another during your tenure. But it’s what you do next that will define you.

Surviving a data breach is one thing, but effectively negating the damage and moving forward is another thing entirely. If an organization is well-prepared with data management as it relates to backup, the process becomes much easier. Unfortunately, many companies do not have an adequate backup system in place. That’s the first issue to address – then comes the process of bringing data back online after a breach, hardware malfunction or other database-threatening event.

Find the root of the problem
The first step in data recovery is to determine where and how the attacker – in the case of a hack – infiltrated your defenses, according to CIO. At the same time, you must discover what the hacker did. Are files corrupted? Are there viruses lingering?

CIO recommends assigning a task force whose sole purpose is to lead the charge – including contacting authorities and the press. These are necessary steps that can be distracting to a company trying to get back on its feet, so it is best to designate a team to manage public relations.

Leverage tape backups to avoid downtime
After the breach has been identified, any applications – including the operating system – on compromised systems must be reformatted and reinstalled in order to guarantee no malicious files remain, according to TechTarget. This process can damage an organization’s productivity, which is why it’s important to restore data from backups in the interim. Tape backups managed under a comprehensive platform provide the necessary tools to allow a company to continue operating while it repairs its damaged systems.

Finally, it’s a good idea to test the fix. Because the data tape backups allow business to continue as usual, the IT security team can take its time and make sure the solution is adequate. They might even consider bringing in an outside party to investigate the job, CIO suggested.

“Companies should undergo a rigorous penetration test by an external team of experts,” Chris Pogue, senior vice president for cyber threat analysis at Nuix, told CIO. “This is really the only way of ensuring that the fixes that have put in place are fulfilling their intended purpose.”

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