Science and Technology

What Happens After a Computer Science Data Breach?

With tens of millions of websites being hacked every year, it’s important that entrepreneurs in all areas of business remain vigilant against attack. However, those working in the computer science industry (such as software programmers and IT consultants) may work with particularly sensitive data, which in the wrong hands could be catastrophic for their business.

It was recently announced that computer scientists have successfully created a tool designed to detect when a website is being hacked. Given the rate of data breaches and cyber attacks in our digital culture, these findings could prove invaluable to companies all over the world. But in the realms of computer science, while hacking is still so rife, what actually happens after a data breach?

The Golden Hour

According to Computer Weekly, the first hour after a data breach is the most important to get right. Subsequent investigation into the breach will depend on a company’s actions during this time, which is why it’s so important to have an emergency procedure in place. Much like in medical traumas, you have the best chance of saving your data if you act instantly, so make sure you are trained and prepared for such an event.

It’s also important to keep accurate notes of all your actions during this time so that a digital forensics expert can know what you’ve done. Include full time and date information, as this will allow investigators to understand the full timeline of events. Isolate equipment from your company network connection, and never switch a computer on if it is off. When possible, don’t act unless you’ve sought advice from a forensics expert.

Forensic Examination

During this “golden hour,” it’s important that you understand the full legal scope of what’s happened, and don’t try to take the situation further than your expertise will allow. This is where it pays to have a forensic expert on side well before the incident occurs. Some data recovery companies can even put preventative measures in place to reduce the likelihood of a security incident in the first place.

Once you have consulted an expert, you’ll know whether the legal aspects of the situation will allow you and your employees to keep working. You may need to submit your machines and devices for forensic examination.

Legal Action

Depending on the outcome of your digital forensic investigation, you may be advised to take legal action against the hackers or whoever caused a data breach, either deliberately or due to negligence. In this event, the expert may be presenting digital evidence in court to supply testimony, and you will need to assist them with all their enquiries.

Your office may become a crime scene of sorts, and forensic examiners will want to explore all your data files, not just the digital ones. Employees may also come under questioning, so this can be a stressful and traumatic time. Whatever happens, make sure you and your employees deal with this unfortunate incident as a team and take note of how you can prevent it happening again in the future.

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