Responding to a Data Security Breach

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, cyber attack incidents have been increasing exponentially, recently reaching 4,000 incidents per day. The regulations and restrictions in place in the localities where your business operates are likely impacting the security of your own IT infrastructure. As your workforce is likely spread between working from home or remote locations with limited opportunity to work from the office, your IT infrastructure is sure to be exposed and at risk. 

But how do you recognize a data breach has taken place and what does your company need to do in the event a breach is discovered? In this blog, Apex Technology explores these questions and the regulatory requirements governing client notification requirements in the event of a breach. 

Indications Your System Will or Has Experienced a Breach

While there are some tell-tale signs that a data breach has occurred, it’s important to point out that the average cyber attack goes unnoticed and unreported for upwards of 6 months. Diligence and education on what to look for, however, can go a long way in closing that gap and minimizing the damage to your brand. 

Understand and Recognize Potential Phishing and Vishing Attempts

Prior to a breach, malicious attackers will be attempting to perform reconnaissance against your business. At this stage, hackers are using social engineering strategies to gather as much information about your network infrastructure as possible. Common tactics at this point include calling, emailing, and using chat interfaces to gather intelligence about unposted email addresses, staff and hierarchy of the company, and other information that can be used to gain and escalate privileges and access to your network. Training your staff on what to look for, and what especially to listen for, when interacting with customers can give them just enough awareness to thwart reconnaissance efforts. 

Changes to System Files or Data Files

Depending on the intent of the hackers in the system, they will likely attempt to change the behavior of various programs or try to access data files. This can leave some tell-tale signs, such as changes to access settings, new users appearing, existing users changing files they normally wouldn’t access. Tracking file changes and having established routines around data changes and access can help your administrators recognize abnormal behavior. 


Slow Network

In the event of a data breach, the hacker will be looking to download as much critical data as they can. Nothing slows down a network faster than unscheduled data transfer activity, especially if your business has set routines in place for updates and downloads to occur throughout the data. High levels of network traffic when none should be occurring are clear indicators of malicious users or malware and viruses acting within your system. 

Do You Have a Disaster Recovery Solution in Place?

While a data breach event can cause severe damage and interruption to your business, having a business continuity plan in place can help mitigate and even eliminate long-term downtime.

  • Have a plan and team in place to conduct forensic investigations at the earliest sign of a breach.
  • Have a team in place with the necessary PR and Advertising training to manage and repair public perception
  • Dedicated staff to notify impacted customers according to regulatory requirements.
  • The legal team in place to help navigate the necessary liability requirements, such as settlements, fines, or reparations due to impacted parties or regulatory agencies.

Charlotte’s Trusted Cloud Disaster Recovery Service

The bottom line is that your organization should never attempt to navigate or manage a cloud crisis disaster without the help and assistance of recovery service. Charlotte is a thriving and busy city built around financial institutions and the organizations that service and support them, which puts a target for hackers on the backs of many businesses operating in the city. Partner with a managed IT service provider that can help your team build out an effective disaster recovery solution that will get your business back up and running in the event of a breach, and get the peace of mind knowing that you’ll do so with minimal damage to your reputation.