This is for my digital entrepreneur family. As more and more of us are starting new businesses online, it’s important that we are protected from potential risk. It’s one of those things that is an afterthought. But, if you want to get out in front of potential threats and be able to quickly recover should your online security be compromised, you’ll need to do your part to prepare.

Cybercrime is on the rise and your business has to be ready to mitigate potential violations and have a solid recovery plan in place. A data breach is a violation for a business and it’s customers. Think about it this way, we collect data from potential customers all the time – from email opt-ins to payment information. The last thing a small business needs is to have a situation that could have been avoided. Let’s explore how to navigate a security breach.


4 ways to handle a security breach properly


Identify

The first and most important thing is to work out exactly how it happened. Check everything from your cloud storage to your network security services. This may mean tightening up your security protocols altogether (updating software, installing firewalls, moving to a private server…etc.) or be as simple as changing your passwords.

Tip: Most companies don’t know how to identify if they are the victim of a cyber attack until after the breach has happened. Run regular security checks on each individual computer system and your network.  

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Inform

One of the biggest issues security threats to your online business is the access to sensitive customer data. The best thing that you can do if your company is threatened, is to inform your customers as soon as possible. They need to be aware of any security risks that they may be vulnerable to. Getting ahead of the situation, with immediate transparency, may also help to avoid potential lawsuits. Remeber your customers trust you and want you to do the right thing and they’ll appreciate your honesty, so be honest.

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Prevent

If you experience a breach, the most important thing is to learn from it. By working out where things went wrong, you can strategize on how to put them right and keep them that way. Preventing future attacks is imperative to your business reputation and your online security.

Consider hiring an IT Specialist – or at least having one set up to do freelance work for you. Putting in additional online security and having it monitored regularly will make a huge difference to your future vulnerability. Every business is at risk, but you don’t have to make it easy cyber predators to steal from you.


Legal

If sensitive data is compromised by a data breach, you’ll want to speak to your company legal team immediately. It’s important that you receive proper counsel on what your next move should be. You want to minimize your liability and maintain customer trust.