Aspect IT: Responding to a data breach

Responding to a data breach
Advertisement feature by Danielle Skinner, Digital Marketing Executive

IF your business files have been hacked, it’s difficult to know how to respond.

You immediately start panicking about what damage this could cause.

This month’s article provides some general advice to help.

What is a data breach?

A data breach is when someone hacks your PC or computer network, i.e. they have found a way to access your system.

Therefore, they can access your confidential information. They can also view, amend, delete and move files around and anything else you can normally do.

Don’t panic! If you have an in-house IT team then you will need to notify them. Alternatively, if you have an IT provider, call them straight away.

Contain the issue: Stopping the data breach is a priority, so you need to secure your systems.

Install any outstanding Windows security patches and update your anti-virus. These steps will provide a useful start to containing the breach.

Also, disabling any remote access will stop people from connecting to your systems. Your IT team or provider will do the rest.

Reset all passwords: Any accounts that you have, whether it’s emails, document locks, social media etc, will need a password change.

Only take this action once you have contained the breach. Changing your passwords before containing the breach will continue to put you at risk.

You may also consider resetting Wi-Fi and broadband router passwords.

Log in and reclaim all accounts: The hacker may have retrieved your passwords and logged in to any accounts, which is why changing passwords is suggested.

You will then need to log back in to everything and claim back authority of them.

Also, check your social media accounts to see if any changes have been made.

Notifications: If the security breach is serious, you will need to notify any relevant authorities or affected people.

Preventing future attacks: Ensure you have a professional anti-virus product and keep it up-to-date.

Also make sure all passwords are changed on all your equipment, ensuring they include a mixture of upper/lower-case letters and special characters. Do not make your password guessable, like your name or date of birth.

Any unpatched software needs to be regularly updated.

Ensure you have a suitable back-up policy so if the worst does happen, you can restore your files.

If you don’t have an IT person or team, then use an outsourced IT company.

At Aspect IT, we are network security experts and can help secure your business systems.

If your business could benefit from a security check-up, then don’t hesitate to call us on 0161 241 9050.


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