Disastrous events are a part of life and all one can do in such circumstances is to try and work for stability and to regain balance. In a recent post, we talked about how to take the necessary steps to prevent one’s Vendor Management System (VMS) data from being hacked into. Today, let us look at a situation where all the precautions put in place to secure the data fail to prevail, and a breach occurs.
Unauthorized access to data (hacking) is not a game – it’s a serious crime that has numerous simultaneous victims. Breach of data often results in the perpetration of financial crimes, identity thefts and other fraudulent activities. Anyone who has been the victim of identity theft as a result of a data breach can tell you that – even with full cooperation from banks, credit card companies and government agencies – it takes months, perhaps years, to get back to normal.
Employees and customers trust that any information provided in the conduct of business will be treated confidentially and kept secure. When that trust is broken, the company’s brand also suffers. What should a business do, in the event of a data breach?
It is important to identify the extent of a data breach as early as possible so the disaster recovery measures can be put in place for all the victims. A delay could only compound the risks and the damages resulting from the breach.
In a related matter, the number of online scams is also increasing. In these, individuals receive an email or see a pop-up banner that appears to be issued by a reputable company – typically, one that the recipient currently does business with. The individual is asked to electronically provide confidential information. When electronically informing affected individuals of a data breach, do not ask them to respond via email. Instead, encourage them to make contact through an established and secure process.
When a company becomes aware that their name and/or logo is being used to perpetuate a scam, they should proactively warn customers and employees through press releases, media outlets, and direct communications.
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