What Leaders Can Do For Their Business During A Cybersecurity Breach

Nov 15, 2022 7 Min Read

Photo by Shamin Haky @ unsplash

Combat the situation & prevent the risks!

Data breaches are becoming common in today's digital world, and it's your mandate as a leader to guide your team on the correct response to criminal activity. How your business reacts to the whole tragedy can play a crucial role in determining the outlook of your business. Also, it'll determine whether or not you'll gain customer loyalty. 

Just like when any other emergency happens, it's essential that you respond to the cybersecurity breach with immediate effect. It would be best if you considered getting IT support in New Jersey NJ, or other service providers near your place to help handle such tech issues in your organisation. 

Sometimes you may not know if a data breach has occurred in your firm. Thus, the data leak goes on for days and weeks without being detected until you hear news reports or notifications from law enforcers.  

It can cause significant damage to your business. Therefore, to avoid getting yourself in such a situation, it's highly recommendable that you get Cyber security services in NYC or near your location at the early stages of building your brand to help you implement the correct data security strategies. 

So, if, by bad luck, your organisation experiences a cybersecurity breach, here's what to do as a leader:

1. Encourage Your Team To Stay Calm

When a data breach occurs, it causes a lot of stress and panic in the organisation. When security experts and admins get messages informing them of a data breach, the day is usually full of tension, and no one wants to talk to the other person. It includes the teams who'll be frontline in fixing the issue. 

Employees loyal to the organisation become more affected because they can't imagine the worst happening to an organisation they cherish. 

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The IT team might feel like they've let down the organisation by failing to incorporate strategies to reduce the chances of such a crisis occurring. Also, they may lose morale; suppose they've been working to build effective security systems to protect the organisation's data, but their efforts seem like they haven't borne a positive outcome. 

In this regard, they may start feeling angry, anxious, or even guilty. Chances are high that you'll find some of them trembling, sweating, and looking sick. Moreover, this situation can cause nausea and even trigger mental health problems. 

Read more: How CEOs Can Make Their Companies More Cybersecure

When there's such a tense aura in the firm, organisational leaders often become easily irritable and put pressure on various team members of the organisation, more so the technology team. Usually, they're trying to make them sort the issue as fast as possible, but unfortunately, imposing such pressure isn't advisable. It’s because it doesn't help at all. 

You need to know how you handle the situation will determine whether the outcome will be negative or positive. So, the best thing to do is to incorporate strategies to help you remain calm and collected when dealing with the matter. 

So, first, you can encourage your workers to use combat or tactical breathing that firefighters and military people use to relieve pressure and stress when in a dangerous situation. Once you have a calm team, it makes it easier to dive into figuring out what the problem is and try to figure out the best way forward.  

You'd want to avoid trying to patch a hole to get your business up and running again by making rush decisions because it can cause you to experience a data leak again. So, be calm, and encourage our team to relax to make rational decisions.

2. Try And Formulate A Response Plan

As a leader, you must get a team of experts to help you conduct an effective response plan. Examples of individuals from the response team include: 

  • Legal advisors 
  • Information security personnel 
  • Forensics 
  • Investor relations 
  • Communications 

To enhance better understanding, you’d want to know some responsibilities of these people. 

Supplementary reading: Leading a Business Through and Out of Crises

First, the information security team focuses on the implications of the security incident plus the downstream issues. They will identify the threat, evaluate it, and try to develop ways to solve the security problem. 

Data forensics will help scrutinise the cybersecurity breach's source and its impact. Forensic scientists will help capture the images of the targeted systems and try collecting and analysing data. It’s to help ascertain when and how the breach took place, plus the possible remedies. 

woman in black blazer writing on white paper

The third critical team is the legal team, who'll keep you in the loop regarding state and federal data security and privacy laws. Other team members from different departments, like communication, have their roles. As a leader, you must encourage the response team to work together to stop additional data loss.  

When starting the response process, it's critical that you take all the equipment at risk offline for a while. However, when doing that, it would be best to avoid turning off machines till forensic scientists arrive to prevent losing or destroying any evidence. 

Also, it's best that you change passwords and logins of your business, especially if the hacking involves stealing credentials. Failure to use these data security tips will make your system prone to cyber-attacks again.

3. Update Your Customers On What's Happening

It's critical to notify your customers about what has happened in the organisations while following all the state or federal laws. Otherwise, you may fall victim to legal troubles and penalties if you do contrary to the regulations.

For example, suppose you're in the United States. In that case, the law requires that in case cybersecurity affects a company with 500 or more stakeholders, you need to notify the secretary without delay. It shouldn't be past 60 days after the cybersecurity breach.

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The essence of notifying your customers or shareholders is to brace them for the potential losses or effects of the cybersecurity attack. If there's any advice you can give them, don't hesitate to do so.

You’d want to announce this information when you have all the required facts regarding the breach. It will help you avoid the consequences of giving out unconfirmed or misleading facts regarding the breach.


As a leader, it's your responsibility to lead by example, whether in good or bad times. Knowing that most of your juniors are looking up to you is crucial. Thus, it would help if you were mindful of how you handle yourself and emergencies in the firm.

Explore this: Three CEO Strategies to Guide Companies Through Crises

So, in case a cybersecurity breach happens at your organisation, you should do the following: notify the customers or investors, encourage your team to remain calm and vigilant, and also formulate an effective response plan. That way, you'll combat the situation that will help prevent the risks of similar things happening in the future.

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