Arrow back

What to do when you think you’ve been breached

27 June, 2023

We all know how crucial it is to address security breaches promptly.

When protecting our data and systems, time is of the essence.

So, if you suspect your organisation has fallen victim to a breach, you've come to the right place.

In this blog post, we'll guide you through the steps to take when you think you've been breached and how to spot the early signs.

What are the early signs of a data breach?

Before we dive into the actionable steps you can take, let's talk about identifying the signs of a breach. Keep an eye out for these red flags:

Unusual network activity and performance issues:

If you notice unexpected spikes in network traffic or bandwidth consumption, or if your systems suddenly slow down or crash without any apparent cause, it's time to investigate further.

Unauthorised access and account anomalies:

Multiple failed login attempts or an influx of forgotten password requests can be signs of an ongoing breach. Similarly, spotting suspicious account activity, like logins from unknown locations, is definitely a cause for concern.

Data integrity and confidentiality issues:

Unexplained modifications, deletions, or corruption of files should set off alarm bells. Additionally, you need to take immediate action if sensitive information seems to have been leaked or stolen.

Immediate response steps

Now that you know the signs, let's move on to the crucial first steps you should take when you suspect a breach. Remember, speed is of the essence!

Isolate and contain the breach:

Disconnect the affected systems from the network to prevent further damage. Implement firewalls and access controls to limit the breach's impact.

Notify key personnel:

Reach out to your trusty IT department or security team. They're the experts who can help you navigate this situation. Additionally, inform senior management and other relevant stakeholders, as their involvement is also vital in such situations.

Preserve evidence:

It's crucial to avoid tampering with compromised systems. Document all suspicious activities and collect relevant logs. These pieces of evidence will come in handy during the investigation phase.

Incident investigation and response

It's time to call in the cavalry to get to the bottom of things.

Engage security experts, both internal and external, to assist you in conducting a comprehensive investigation.

Engage security experts:

Consider involving external cybersecurity professionals who specialise in breach investigations. Their expertise can make all the difference in uncovering the truth.

Conduct a comprehensive forensic analysis:

This step involves identifying the attack vector and the point of entry. By determining the extent of the breach and which systems are impacted, you'll be able to gauge the scope of the damage.

Assess and contain the damage:

Repair or rebuild compromised systems and close any security vulnerabilities. It's crucial to strengthen your defences to prevent future breaches.

Communication and notification

Communication is key, both internally and externally. Let's discuss the essential points in this phase:

Internal communication:

Once the breach has been identified, inform your employees about the situation. It's essential to be transparent and keep them in the loop. Reinforce security awareness and best practices to prevent similar incidents in the future.

External communication:

Depending on your legal and regulatory obligations, you may need to inform customers, partners, and other stakeholders about the breach. Transparency and timely communication will help maintain trust and manage expectations.

Review and strengthen security measures

After experiencing a breach, learning from the incident and enhancing your security measures is crucial.

Perform a post-incident analysis:

Evaluate how effectively you responded to the breach and identify any lessons learned. This analysis will help you understand where improvements are needed and guide your future security strategies.

Enhance security protocols:

Implement multi-factor authentication to add an extra layer of protection. Regularly update and patch your software and systems to stay ahead of potential vulnerabilities.

Employee training and awareness:

Conduct cybersecurity awareness programs to educate employees about common attack methods such as phishing and social engineering. By keeping them informed, you empower them to be the first line of defence against future breaches.

How we help your organisation secure its future

We're Bob's Business, a leading cybersecurity awareness training provider specialising in helping organisations tackle ever-evolving cybersecurity and compliance challenges.

We understand that human-error is responsible for 90% of all breaches, so we focus on equipping your employees with the tools and understanding necessary to identify and mitigate potential risks.

Our affordable and approachable training packages are built to create cybersecurity-aware cultures within organisations by making learning enjoyable and impactful.

So, if you're ready to take your organisation's cybersecurity to the next level, explore our range of products and services.

Back to resources

Ready to build your cybersecurity culture?

Whether you’re looking for complete culture change, phishing simulations or compliance training, we have solutions that are tailor-made to fit for your organisation.

Girl with laptop
Boy with laptop
man and woman with laptops
Global Cyber Alliance