“There are only two types of companies: Those that have been hacked and those that will be hacked.” –Robert Mueller, former Director of the FBI
If cyber breaches are an inevitable cost of doing business, how a company responds to a breach is of extreme importance. It has recently been revealed that 57 million Uber users and drivers had personal information exposed in late 2016 and that the hackers were paid $100,000 to keep it quiet. If all stories are true, the biggest issue with the Uber breach may not be the breach itself, but the lack of engagement, management, and delivery of the response.
The downside of any reaction is that it is usually in response to something unexpected. While any response is inherently a reaction, companies can be proactive in preparing their reaction, which is a more favorable position to be in.
So what should a small to midsize business response plan entail? How can it best protect its customers, business, and employees? To build an effective cyber breach response plan, the following questions should be considered:
- Are you invested enough in protection? While a breach may be inevitable, you must still invest in prevention. Consider this: banks get robbed and houses are broken into, yet security measures are still applied. Business owners and management need to engage with the IT team to discuss policies, training, and IT security.
- Is your business leveraging solutions that inherently increase the capacity to secure your clients and business? Security is far more effective when it is built into the design. Leveraging the right cloud solution(s) is one of the easiest ways to do this for a small to midsize business
- What solutions do you have in place to help your business recover and continue to function? Are they continually tested? Do you have a cyber insurance policy in place? Knowing how quickly and successfully you can bring your business back online means you can confidently inform your clients and people when a breach occurs.
- Does your business have responsibilities due to compliance or industry practices? If so, outline those practices and make sure they are incorporated into your plan.
- Who will manage and execute your plan? A plan needs leadership, management, and people to execute when necessary. A security breach will affect your business as a whole so therefore, the response team should involve people from all facets of the business. Leaving it to your IT team alone is not the answer.
- How should you respond from a moral standpoint? Yes, the right course of action should always be taken, but Uber shows that it not always the case. We all know in life and in business, that honesty is the fastest way to redemption.