Data Breach and Incident Response Process

Introduction

Prevention is better than acting after the incident. This is something that exists at the core of the cybersecurity domain. A data breach is a nightmare not only for enterprises but for average individuals as well. This is because not all forms of data should be accessible publicly to ensure privacy. When such data is stolen without the knowledge or authorization of the data owner, it is known as a data breach. And the action taken to fix it is known as Incident Response.

Definition

A data breach can occur if enterprises fail to deploy adequate protective measures and cybersecurity. It leads to a further string of problems concerning privacy protection. This is where the incident response process plays a substantial role. The incident response process is a set of processes that IT administrators implement to tackle data-related issues or occurrences of a data breach.

Process of Incident Response

The process of incident response is divided into 5 phases:

  1. Preparation: A background plan for every action is important, and in this case, preparation plays a comparable role. First, admins need to know how to find the root cause of the breach, and they must take particular steps to prepare for the same. These steps include brutal honesty with the concerned people to inform them about the data breach. Ask if they have any knowledge or suspicions as to how this may have happened, as in some cases, dissatisfaction and rage could motivate employees to leak private enterprise information. Every concerned employee must be trained accordingly, and the IT department should carry out mock data breach simulations and scenarios to draw up a formidable plan.
  2. Identification: When every concerned employee is trained and informed, and plausible data breach tests are carried out, a plan is made, and it should be executed to identify the root cause of the breach. To begin with, the IT department should have answers to questions about when it happened, how it happened, how it was discovered,  how many records(volume of data) were stolen or illegally accessed etc.
  1. Containment: The first reaction to such a breach is normally to delete the compromised data or system, which could pose greater problems if the data breach is important to the enterprise. Instead, the system should be contained to restrict the further spread of the breach.
  2. Eradication: Learning from the mistake should be the main takeaway. The enterprise should begin by eradicating the root cause of the breach. If it is malware code or a virus, the IT department should remove it, and the system is patched against similar attacks. If it is a human cause, the firm must resort to legal action and lay off that employee or the group of employees who did such damage.
  3. Recovery: Lastly, to make sure such breaches don’t happen again, the enterprise should strengthen its security patches and authentication process, alongside training and informing all the employees about data breaches and how damaging they can be.

This concludes the process of solving a data breach through the incident response process.

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