Data breaches happen more each year, and hackers are becoming more sophisticated. If you haven’t experienced one, either at your business or in your personal life, you are one of the lucky few.

And it’s not just ransomware or phishing scams that your company needs to look out for. Businesses make mistakes disposing of data that put them at risk of a serious breach.

If your company experiences a data breach, your business reputation will be impacted. However, there are ways to mitigate the fallout.

Read on for more information about how to safely navigate through an unfortunate data breach.

Will a Data Breach Impact Your Business Reputation?

The answer to this question is, “It depends.”

Americans appear to be more forgiving of companies in some industries over others. In a recent survey, results showed that retail and hotel businesses are still trusted after a breach. Rideshare services suffered the largest hit to their reputations.

The other factor that influences a business’s reputation is how they deal with the breach. Taking responsibility and being transparent about fixing the problem go a long way to preserving the reputation of your business.

What Happens After a Data Breach?

The fact is that many of the large companies that have been hacked are still going strong. Target, Sony, Marriot and Equifax are just a few businesses that have successfully survived huge data breaches.

Smaller companies can also navigate a data breach, but be prepared for the consequences. These include:

  • Impact on Share Price
  • Reputation Damage
  • Intellectual Property Loss
  • Legal Costs
  • System Upgrade Costs

Got Hacked? Take a Few Important Steps

Take a Breath

You don’t have to rush to inform the public of your data breach. Ironically, companies that rush to disclose the breach often suffer the worst hits to their reputation. Take time to understand what happened, and what your obligations are.

Take Stock

Be serious about avoiding future data breaches by analyzing what went wrong with this one. Do a “post mortem” on the breach, and use your findings to create solutions.

Take Responsibility

You will have to admit the hack to your clients, and you should be prepared to lose some of them. However, if you show that you are already taking steps to be prepared for the future, it will show that you’re being proactive and trustworthy.

How to Avoid a Data Breach

In some ways, you have to get lucky. Even the most well-trained staff and fiercest firewalls can be breached.

Make sure your systems are up to date – and not just your anti-virus software. Hackers also rely on social engineering in order to gain access to your systems. Make your employees aware of these tactics as well.

Also, make sure your company practices safe data sanitization. Data thieves will take advantage of your disposed computers and paper files to find important information or ways to hack your company.

Get Help from Experts

Don’t let a data breach negatively impact your business reputation. There are ways to protect your company and your clients. Contact us today for real solutions to this growing problem.