Your company holds personally identifiable information about employees and customers, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and financial information. If someone manages to hack into your IT network and steal this information, it places these individuals at risk for identity theft, and makes you liable for loss. Even with the most sophisticated IT security technology, you need to have a plan in place to quickly respond to data security breaches.
Contact law enforcement.
Not all data breaches result in identity theft, but the type of information stolen will inform the degree of potential damage. If you discover your data has been compromised, you should check with state laws and regulations for specific requirements of your business. If the data breach puts at risk critical business or client information, you need to contact the police as soon as possible.
Notify affected businesses.
If your business has been compromised, the breach will likely affect other businesses you work with, including banks and credit issuers. To protect these businesses from harm, you need to notify them of the breach. If you know that personal Social Security numbers were compromised, you should reach out to major credit bureaus to seek additional information or advice.
Reach out to individuals.
The sooner you notify individuals that their personal information is compromised, the better chance they have to mitigate the problem. You can let your clients or employees know what steps to take if their Social Security number was stolen. In particular, you should advise individual victims to follow recommendations outlined by the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft, which is available on the Internal Revenue Service’s official website. The Federal Trade Commission also has resources for businesses that have had sensitive information stolen.
Cyber liability insurance should be considered to protect your business assets in situations that are out of your control. Conduct a risk analysis to determine the best type of coverage for our organization.
Nextrio has been the trusted IT advisor for more than 1,000 small and medium sized businesses in the Southwest since 2002. To learn about our Tucson managed services and IT consulting please call (520) 519-6301.