Data Breach and Incident Response Services

Data breaches are more common than ever, and while only the big ones make the headlines (Equifax, Boeing, Uber, Yahoo, the federal government, etc.), the next target could be any business, large and small alike. While many people may think they are too insignificant to be a target, the truth is that a data breach can happen to any organization.

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All Data Types Are a Target

The data your organization creates, stores and transfers, may contain Payment Card Industry (PCI) data, Protected Health Information (PHI), electronic communications, personally identifiable information (PII), trade secrets, or other crucial information. Data is valuable. It drives political, business, and individual decisions and can affect livelihoods and lives. Storing and transferring that precious data also carries profound responsibility: data privacy and data security are paramount.

Implementing robust security controls and state of the art hardware and software solutions is simply due diligence when it comes to protecting data. Those steps can certainly help improve your company’s risk profile. Having the right organizational security mindset, data security policies and procedures, and the right security staff in place can significantly enhance your preparedness for a data breach or incident. Educating end users about the risks associated with data breaches, security protocols, and common forms of attack can provide a sense of preparedness across your organization.

There Is No Perfect Defense for a Data Breach

However, even if your organization has considered all of this and has technological and personnel systems in place to protect the data that is central to your area of practice, there is no such thing as perfect security. Some organizations may not defend themselves as well as they could, but even in ones that do, mistakes can always be made, and accidents can always happen, even among professionals. Sometimes the adversary is just one step ahead of you, even when you’ve done everything right.

Sometimes the adversary is just one step ahead of you, even when you’ve done everything right.

Even the most well-prepared organizations can find themselves the victim of a data breach or cyber-attack and in need of outside perspective, review, and assistance. If your organization hasn’t fully considered the ramifications of a potential data breach and is faced with the prospect of responding to an incident in crisis mode, finding experienced, efficient, and competent Incident Response services to assist you is of vital importance.

What Does a Data Breach “Incident” Look Like?

Attackers are very often indiscriminate and target the lowest hanging fruit, but contrary to some people’s beliefs, there is no organization with data that’s not worth taking. At Gillware, we understand that there is no cookie-cutter incident and no uniform form of incident response. Every data breach, data theft, or ransomware intrusion looks different. Today’s attacks can be multifaceted, sophisticated and, persistent.

Data breaches are often not identified until long after the original attack. Each incident requires an individual and personalized assessment to form a full understanding of the underlying event and its potential effect on your organization both at the time of the event and into the future.

Whether the incident involves ransomware, unauthorized access by an outside attacker, a denial of service attack, malware or malicious code, improper access or data exfiltration by an employee, we have experience in responding to, remediating, investigating, and mitigating similar events.


Why Professional Data Breach Incident Response Matters

When a data breach incident occurs, your organization may have the legal responsibility to report the incident to affected parties. Every state has unique data breach notification requirements, and federal regulations may require notification as well. Uncertainty regarding your organization’s obligations to regulators and your customers can lead to a delayed or disjointed response.

Your organization’s response in the immediate aftermath of a data breach can have an impact on the reputation and even the continued viability of the organization. Seeking outside assistance from the professionals at Gillware can help minimize the impact of the event and help your organization recover more quickly.

The Real Costs of Data Breaches

The cost of a data breach to the victim is driven by five factors:
1. The loss of customers in the aftermath
When your business become a victim of a data breach, your reputation can suffer a blow depending on the scale of the intrusion and how well or poorly you clean up afterward. Losing business results in losing revenue and profit, further hurting your business.
2. The number of records stolen
The scale of your data breach has an impact on how difficult it is to deal with. A wide-scale breach affects more of your clients and thus has a greater negative effect both on them and on your business.
3. Time taken to identify the breach
Data breaches are not always discovered right away. An intrusion into your organization, whether facilitated by an employee logging onto your network via a compromised personal computer or smartphone, malware disguised as an invoice in a phishing email, or simply a hacker exploiting lax network protections, can go for weeks or even months without being detected. The longer a breach goes without being detected, the harder it becomes to regain your current and prospective clients’ trust.
4. Incident response services
The cost of hiring incident response professionals such as those at Gillware Digital Forensics in the aftermath of a data breach is a necessary expenditure that varies according to the scale and timeframe of the breach, the severity of the intrusion, and the quality of the incident response services in question.
5. Post-breach costs
These costs include the cost of legal fees to defend your business from litigation in the aftermath, reporting fees, discounts and IT protection services offered to people whose data was leaked as a result of the breach, and other expenditures necessary to rebuild as much of your positive relationship with your community as possible.

Who Can Gillware Help?

Gillware Digital Forensics assists victims from all walks of life:
Impacted Businesses
If your business has been affected by a data breach or incident and needs assistance, we can help. Whether or not you have an internal Incident Response team of your own, sometimes an outside perspective and a second opinion are helpful and necessary.
If you are an attorney in the private or public sector engaged in a case involving a data breach incident, we have the expertise and experience it takes to assist you through the technical aspects of these cases. The straightforward explanations and clearly-written individualized reports we provide over the course of our assistance will help make your case stronger and more efficient.
IT Staff
If you are IT staff from an affected organization and need assistance in identifying, responding, remediating, mitigating, or investigating a cyber incident, we can assist. If you want the confidence that an expert review or second opinion of your response efforts can provide, we can provide that as well.
Managed Service Providers
If you are an MSP and are looking for support for your customers who have experienced a data breach, we are available to partner with you.
Insurance Companies
When your clients are affected by a data breach, we can provide clear and concise reviews of the situation.
If you are a small town, village, or a city affected by a cyber incident, and you need to bring in experienced outside expertise to assist in response efforts we are available to support you. We have experience working with municipalities on cyber event investigations ranging from employee misconduct to ransomware recovery, to phishing and malware investigations and data exfiltration cases.
You are not alone, and your case is not too small to matter. If you have been affected by a data breach, we are available to help you recover and ensure that your systems are secure from subsequent attacks.

Whether you are dealing with a data breach brought on by an external intrusion or possible internal employee misconduct, Gillware’s team of digital forensic and cyber security experts can help provide answers where previously there were only questions.

Data Breach Incident Response Services

While some organizations, especially large multinational corporations, are likely to have their own internal computer incident response teams comprised of security and IT staff along with members of their legal, human resources, and public relations departments, most victims of data breaches must turn to outside incident response specialists for help. When assisting you with your data breach, Gillware’s team of experts will:
  • Collect and preserve electronic evidence related to the breach
    • Cloud collections – Office365, Amazon Cloud, etc.
    • Local computers, cell phones, servers, RAIDs
    • Mobile Devices
    • Virtual machines and servers
    • Forensic imaging of hard drives, virtual machines, storage media
    • Network logs
    • System logs
    • Application logs
    • RAM Analysis
  • Identify the systems and applications impacted and the data that was accessed or exposed (PII, PHI, IP, etc.)
  • Determine how the data breach occurred (phishing, social engineering, employee misconduct, DNS spoofing, vulnerability exploit, etc.)
  • Report on findings to satisfy legal and regulatory obligations and to be used to prevent future data breach incidents