What to Do after a Business Data Breach

Data security experts all echo the same sentiment: “It’s not if your organisation will be breached, it’s when.” Does your business have a breach response plan? In this blog, we offer several steps to take after a data breach so you can create—or update—your breach response plan.

Stay Calm

A data breach can cause widespread panic throughout your organisation. The key is not to overreact. As a leader, you must stay calm so you can address the situation with clarity and move forward with an incident response plan.


The more facts you gather, the easier you can stem the bleeding. Before taking action, ask the following questions:

  • Where did the breach happen?
  • When did the breach take place?
  • What data is impacted?
  • How many individuals are affected?
  • Can the incident be tracked?

Gather as much information as possible so you can act with purpose.

Contact Your Lawyer

Other than you, your attorney is the person who knows your business best. Therefore, they should be the first person you contact after a breach. They can help you meet your breach notification obligations and serve as a spokesperson for your company when communicating with authorities.


Failure to report a data breach can lead to exorbitant fines. Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), you must the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if personal information is compromised and at risk. If a breach involves healthcare information, you must report the incident to the (NHS). Provide as many details as possible to authorities who can help with remediation efforts and report important investigative information to other government agencies.


Prompt remediation prevents a data breach from spinning out of control. Change the credentials of affected servers and applications. You may also need to segregate infected networks and reroute network traffic. Contact your data backup service provider so critical data can be restored and/or migrated to an alternate server or network.

Conduct Forensics

Most small businesses have limited IT resources. During a breach, you need professional data security help. Call a forensics expert who can assist you with repairing the damage. Remember, time is of the essence. Don’t wait till a breach occurs to find a trusted data security provider; form a partnership today.

Preparation is the best defense against data breaches. Use these tips to minimise the impact on your business.

Archive Document Data Storage (ADDS) provides information management and data backup and rotation solutions for businesses throughout London, Bristol, Bath, and Swindon. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

Natasha Rawley The File Queen: Expert in Record & Information Management, LPM Columnist.

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