Six Data Breach Lessons from the Trenches

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Rebuild trust with customers: Oftentimes, organizations treat a breach like a compliance issue. In other words, they take all of the correct steps and check off all of the boxes on their forms. But in the process, they often forget about the people affected by the breach – their customers, patients or employees. They're the ones most likely to call the media, litigators and maybe even switch to the competition.

Organizations need to think about their breach population and rebuild trust with them. That means sending clear, honest breach notification letters or emails; providing well-rounded credit monitoring or identity theft protection; and keeping an open line of communication. In fact, a recent study finds that most respondents believe organizations should provide protection following a data breach; 63 percent of those polled said breach populations should receive identity theft protection, while 58 percent said they should receive credit monitoring services.

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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