Six Data Breach Lessons from the Trenches

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Investigate first, talk later: Many organizations feel pressured to inform the public – especially the media – as soon as they discover a breach. This, in turn, can induce panic among consumers and lead to poor decisions and crucial mistakes. Instead, the best practice is to finish the forensic investigation before announcing the breach. If the situation somehow leaks, then provide the press with what you know and tell reporters you will give them the rest of the information when the investigation is over. If the incident isn't leaked, then wait until the conclusion of the investigation. That way, you will have all of the facts in front of you when you announce it. More than 65 percent of polled consumers want to know the risks or harms they may face after a data breach. That means providing detailed, accurate information.

As the era of Big Data continues to march forward, so does the number of data breaches. Organizations seem to become more vulnerable every day with breaches rising at an alarming rate. In fact, studies, such as "Quantifying the Data Breach Epidemic" from IBM, indicate that companies are attacked an average of 16,856 times per year, and many of those attacks result in a quantifiable data breach.

And with the average breach costing $5.4 million for businesses in the United States, according to the Ponemon Institute, it's important to be prepared. Multiply that by the hundreds, thousands – even millions – of records that are typically compromised in one breach and you begin to realize just how costly a data breach is both on reputation and a company's bottom line.

With this reality facing us, many security experts are convinced that data breaches are inevitable. So if that is the case, what can your organization do to minimize the damage? Based on experience servicing some of the largest breaches to-date, including three of the four largest breaches in 2013, Experian Data Breach Resolution has compiled six important lessons learned from the data breach trenches.

For more guidance on how to prepare for a data breach, you can also download the Experian Data Breach Response Guide, which is available for free.

Michael Bruemmer is vice president with the Experian Data Breach Resolution group. A veteran with more than 25 years in the industry, Bruemmer brings a wealth of knowledge related to sales and operations.


Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

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