Data breaches have hit corporate giants like Home Depot and Target. This has led to the trust of a general consumer being lost as well as millions of dollars in restitution to those that had their information compromised. While lawsuits pertaining to leaks can be costly, the trust lost can be far worse. An ecommerce website that has had a data leak might find their current customers going elsewhere. People are generally willing to pay more for a product to have the peace of mind that their financial and personal information is safe. A vigilant approach to keeping the company website and servers secure is best. Otherwise, there are going to be far more problems, but recovering from a data breach is possible. The following are best practices to keep company information secure as well as recovering in the eyes of customers after a hack.
Passwords Need to Be Changed After Every Employee Leaves (for Whatever Reason)
Passwords of all types of accounts need to be changed when an employee’s time is done at the company. Those that are terminated or have left on bad terms are more likely to do something with password-protected accounts. Take the time to change all of the passwords that the former employee had access to and make sure that they cannot regain access to their company email. Plenty of programs allow a company to change a myriad of passwords for various accounts. Former employees can be huge liabilities to security, especially if they are upset about how their time at the company ended.
Be Honest With Clients If Their Information Was Compromised
The toughest part of a data breach is informing clients that their information is compromised. The last thing that a company wants to do is have clients find out about the leak before the company let them know. This is a surefire way to lose clients as trust has not only been broken but information was deliberately withheld from them. Long-time clients that understand that breaches happen even to the most secure companies might get over it immediately. Putting together the extra steps for security and outlining this for current clients can help put their minds at ease. A discount for services going forward for a few months combined with the above can be enough to retain even the most skeptical clients.
Online Reputation Management Is Imperative
The last thing that a company wants when a potential client searches the company name is for the client to read about a data breach. These breaches are often widely publicized, regardless of the size of the company. Customers that have had their information leaked will also make this well known on review websites. Taking a proactive approach to push down those negative pieces of content will take time. The content also has to be top of the line in order to increase the number of shares and traffic it receives. Hiring a freelancer or company to help with this is often best, as they have experience getting multiple clients out of a similar situation.
Hire an Online Security Firm
Hiring a firm that will monitor the company’s information and website constantly is important. These outsourced security firms can actually be far more affordable than many companies realize. Being able to detect a threat can allow a company website to go offline if they feel like there are any weaknesses in web security. Do research on various companies to see what they can offer for their fee, as the company needs as much protection as possible. The ability to reach out to ask various security questions is also a great resource as these firms understand what it takes to stay secure in the long term.
Pay for Employees to Help Them Secure Their Information If Hacked
Employee information being leaked can lead to various forms of identity fraud. Synthetic identity fraud is just one of these, as once a hacker has a social security number created after 2011, they can create the rest of the personal details for an individual. There are monitoring services that can be used for an entire family as health insurance forms can include private information for children. Paying for a subscription to one of these services is the least the company can do if the leak happened due to negligence of the company in some way. Take care of employees, as it can take years to recover from any type of identity fraud.
A data breach is nothing short of a nightmare, so preventing it from happening at all should be the main priority. For companies that are dealing with a recent data breach, take time to let clients know and show them how security measures will improve. The clients should know they are valued and the company will do what it takes to repair the business relationship. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of the author. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and can not investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the author to disclose. VIP Contributors and Contributors, amongst other accounts and articles, are professional fee-based.