Here’s a hypothetical: Today, you were informed of a cyber incident. Luckily, it appears minor and that no data was exfiltrated. After your brief panic subsides, you figure “Great! I’m all in the clear.” In the words of the great Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend.” When you are the steward of proprietary information, PII or other protected data, it is always in your best interest to take a maximalist approach to what constitutes a breach or stolen data.
What Does ‘Lost’ Data Really Mean?
If you think that just because your data isn’t ‘gone’ that it’s not ‘lost’ and you haven’t really suffered a breach, then we have some bad news for you…
The reality is that if ransomware has touched that file at all or your data has ever been held hostage, then you have been breached, and your data and IP should be considered potentially compromised. Likewise, if a virus successfully infects your system, that is also considered a breach and a loss of data because you don’t know what that virus touched, so you should assume that it has affected that data.
Regulations are increasingly loosening up their definition of what constitutes a data breach, which has enormous implications for you and your business. So, the unfortunate rule of thumb should always be that if your systems have had any unauthorized access—whether that’s a Trojan, a virus, or malware of any kind (including ransomware)—you should consider yourself breached and your data ‘lost,’ even if it remains on your servers.
You can see some of our other posts about the kinds of compliance issues you might face here.
Others Will See Your Data as ‘Lost’ Even If You Don’t
If you either don’t recognize the seriousness of a cyber incident or worse (Read more…)
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