Eddie Mahdi

5 Ways To Best Address A Data Breach

A data breach. It’s every business’ worst nightmare.

The Office of the Australian Information Commission (OAIC) reported that organisations across Australia have experienced a total of 1,051 data breaches last year alone.

Because data and intellectual property is a valuable asset, the risk of malicious intent to steal, destroy or expose it, unfortunately, grows every day. While businesses take precautions to secure all systems and information, it’s also important to be prepared in case the worst happens.

So, what is the best response when a data breach occurs? How can you properly address it to protect your business’ reputation and customers’ welfare?


The real dangers of a data breach

If important information, files or data has been stolen or taken from your system without your knowledge, this is defined as a data breach – no matter who performs this action.

This data often includes sensitive, proprietary and confidential data, which can negatively impact your credibility, incur financial losses and even result in legal penalties. Due to strict Australian laws around Privacy, you must also notify affected individuals too, which can make this kind of event highly public.

If this occurs, there’s more than just data recovery to deal with. A resulting tarnished reputation can make it even more challenging to keep up with competitors, acquire new customers and achieve more sales for your business. The downtime of handling risks caused by a data breach can also negatively affect your productivity levels and the efficiency of your operations.

Unfortunately, no entity is immune to a data breach. All sizes and types of organisations can easily be attacked by cybercriminals who want to take advantage of valuable information.

So, what do you do if it happens?


How to best address a data breach

Data breaches can pose different levels of risk.

Dealing with them on a case-by-case basis is often the right solution to mitigate their impact. Nevertheless, there are initial steps you can do to implement effective crisis management when it occurs. After all, having a proactive response can make a big difference in containing the situation and minimising any negative impacts.

Here are some ways to effectively address a data breach:

  • Freeze all systems and activities

Stopping all activities or shutting down systems can reduce the impact of a data breach. However, extreme caution is also required at this stage to prevent evidence from being lost. If you want to limit the attacker from causing more damage without shutting down your system, you can opt to change passwords, lock credentials or address vulnerabilities in your physical and electronic security instead.

  • Make sure that you continue auditing and logging

To easily identify the scope of a data breach, it’s important to audit your system and continue to monitor all activity. If these functions are disabled by the attacker, make sure you restore them so you can thoroughly investigate the incident later. You can also take snapshots from your virtual machines or systems for a more thorough assessment.

  • Assess the data breach and determine what needs to be done

Having a full understanding of the data breach incident will enable you to implement the right solutions.

So think about answers to the following:

    • How did the data breach happen?
    • What is the root cause of the incident?
    • What information was accessed?
    • How are your business’ systems affected?
    • Which accounts have been compromised?
    • How can it potentially harm your entity and its stakeholders?

Once you have gathered the facts, you can now come up with a plan to deal with the data breach – whether it’s running scans, updating software, changing network firewall rules or alerting the authorities.

  • Communicate and notify the appropriate people

First and foremost, it’s important to reach out to people who can contain the threat, such as your IT team or your Managed Services team, like us at Centrix.

If the breach is an ‘eligible data breach’ under the Australian Notifiable Data Breaches scheme, it’s your responsibility to alert the Office of the Australian Information Commission (OAIC) about the data breach.

Coordinating with your human resources (HR), public relations (PR) and legal teams is also necessary to properly notify stakeholders and the public regarding the data breach – including the steps you undertook to address the breach, your plans as to how you will protect them and future action steps to prevent data breaches from happening again.

  • Evaluate the incident

A data breach happened because there was a gap somewhere – either there were insufficient security measures, outdated technologies, a lack of employee training or human errors.

To prevent the reoccurrences of data breaches, it’s important to examine if you need to change your policies, procedures or systems. You must also implement solutions that can strengthen your cybersecurity and prevent unauthorised access from malicious third parties in the future.


Data breaches: prevention is always better than cure

If you’re serious about the security of your digital systems, data and intellectual property, there are cybersecurity solution providers that can defend you from data theft, downtime and other attacks that can damage your business.

At Centrix, we can run through your entire organisation’s systems to assess how secure they are, then provide recommendations on how to ensure you are fully protected. Our team can also train your staff so that they will be fully prepared when unprecedented issues like data breaches occur.


Our Managed IT experts provide a strong defence against data breaches

Centrix understands the full spectrum of security threats that endanger your business.

So, to safeguard your systems and IT infrastructure, we identify all vulnerabilities, enhance your technologies and offer extensive security consulting.

Equipped with our knowledge, skills and expertise, we combine technology and training to safeguard your business from all kinds of data breaches and security threats.

Our mission is to empower your whole team with comprehensive IT Security Services to see you thrive in today’s digital landscape.

To start, book an IT Health Check today or contact us today.



Schedule a free consultation with a Centrix expert to ensure your data is safe and secure. No obligation – just peace of mind.

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