When malicious actors attempt to steal information from a business, they will often aim to acquire as many company credentials as possible. This is because company login information can lead to further attacks that hackers can launch from inside the company network, allowing them to access information they previously did not have a means of stealing. This makes responding to a data breach that includes company credentials incredibly important for a small business because a few early precautions can save a company from closing its doors.
Plan to Respond to a Data Breach
Because a data breach is going to happen, small businesses should create a plan for how to react to their credentials and information being stolen. Each employee should be trained on how to notice signs of suspicious activity on their account and the correct procedures for reporting the incident to IT and changing their password. If business or client information has been stolen, then your business should plan how and when to notify affected clients and employees after re-securing as much information as possible. Having a plan in place will reduce the amount of time it takes your business to respond to a data breach, and a speedy response will help mitigate the damage done.
Improve Password Security
Passwords are often the most commonly leaked piece of employee information. This is because malicious actors will use the passwords they gain from a third-party breach to attack your business directly. Employees should never reuse passwords across accounts, and the passwords they create should be as strong as possible. Many people struggle to think of and remember strong passwords for their various accounts, so having a password manager can help employees change their password to something unique when they respond to a data breach. The passwords they make will also not relate to one another, and this will reduce the usefulness of stolen third-party credentials.
Monitor the Dark Web
Once company credentials have been stolen by malicious actors, they will often be sold on the dark web and circulated between threat groups looking for information on easy targets. This makes it extremely important for a small business to know which email addresses and passwords have been leaked and how much overall information hackers may have access to. Dark web scans will help give your company an idea of how much information has already been leaked, and this can help you patch up holes in your security posture. A business should work with their managed security service provider to scan and monitor the dark web, so your plans for responding to a security breach can change accordingly.
Just because credential information related to your company will inevitably be leaked doesn’t mean your business can’t take precautions to improve your plans to respond to a data breach. While additional security tools can help, a ready to execute plan, strong password security, and vigilant monitoring of the dark web can go a long way in helping a business respond to a data breach. Additionally, the right IT consulting for your business can also improve your company’s security posture, and you can book a free consultation with one of our security specialists to begin improving your company’s ability to respond to a data breach today!