Responding to Data Theft

Data theft is what it sounds like; that is, stealing data from a victim most commonly with sensitive or personal information which can be used for compromising privacy for people and for organizations. Data theft has become a major problem as stealing data from computers has become common. In various cases, anonymous data thieves steal data from organizations to blackmail them for money.

Organizations are usually clueless about how to respond to such a threat. First step to take in this regard is to develop policies to respond to such issues. Organizations can avoid being blackmailed due to data theft incidents by having proper procedures for responding to data breach. If there are no policies and procedures in place, organizations facing any data theft issue usually takes a lot of time before it comes up with an appropriate answer to the threat. Usually the decision makers need to know how much data has been taken and how it can affect the organization or its stakeholders. Data thieves have ample time on their hand in the meanwhile to use the data as they please. The only way to respond to data theft threats is to be prepared for the response by having the data breach policies and procedures in a well defined form.

In the modern world of business, organizations are pressed to be more automated. Digital transformation is happening everywhere. Data mining has become a practice to help organizations in creating more meaningful experiences for their consumer base. Organizations use all possible data that they have to test their theories for future products and services they plan to offer their target consumers. The business landscape is thus heavily relying on IT and is fast digitizing. It is a very complex and dynamic landscape at the moment. In case of any data theft, it is important to find how much data the data thieves have got, and from where the data leakage has taken place. Various automated solutions provide discovery of data and classification. Data is monitored by these solutions to ensure that any anomaly in the movement is tracked quickly by the system itself. Using these systems can help an organization in reducing the chances of data theft in their organization.

Data theft and breaches are possible due to various reasons. Organizations need to focus on their production systems that store personal data. Data masking can help organizations in keeping their data safe from any breaches. Encryption and control and monitoring of unauthorized access to data can be of great help. However, if a situation arises, organizations can only respond to it by taking decisions which need to be focused on the interests of the organization’s stakeholders.

As every data breach situation is different, the response to each of these situations would also be different. Thus there cannot be one common answer to all the situations that can arise regarding data leakage and data theft. To be prepared to face any such situation, organizations need to have their procedures and policies in place. That is the only thing which can help the organization in knowing the source of any data breach and to calculate the scope of any such theft. That would, in turn, mean that the organization would be able to make informed decisions.