What to Do When (Not If) Your Company Gets Hacked

24 October 2016 Publication

Dallas Bar Association Headnotes

Clearly, the Internet has transformed the world. Not only can we now communicate with one another through our computer or mobile phone, but our televisions, portable health devices, and even our refrigerators are connected to the Internet. As technology becomes more and more sophisticated, so too do hackers’ efforts to steal and misuse the personal information of millions of individuals, not to mention company trade secrets, executive-level communications and intellectual property. In a study done a few months ago, the Identity Theft Resource Center stated that the United States was averaging between two and three data intrusions per day, and that is only counting the reported ones.

The statistics reveal that less than 20 percent are reported in the first place. With the number of data intrusions only set to increase over the next decade, it is not a question of “if” your company is going to get hacked but “when.” This article will offer some practical tips on developing and implementing an incident response plan that will effectively deal with a data intrusion and minimize potential financial and reputational fallout.

Perhaps the most important thing to include in an incident response plan (IRP) is a clear delineation of who is doing what. When an intrusion is eventually discovered, a lot of things need to get done, and the last thing you want is to spend days, weeks or even hours debating who is responsible for handing these various areas. A dedicated Internal Response Team (IRT) is essential to making an IRP work.

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