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What Should You Do After a Password Breach?

Around 360,000 pieces of malware were created every single day last year. Each one of these can pose a serious threat to the security of your business. Malware can be used to steal data, access financial accounts, and caused serious damage to your network. 

This is why having strong passwords is an essential part of any security system. Unfortunately, 61% of businesses in America don’t apply basic password security rules. This can leave their networks vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.

On top of this, some types of malware actually exist to steal passwords and login information from your network. They do this by recording and screenshotting your password details. Or they can trick you into sharing this information using spam emails.

If your network has recently suffered a password leak then acting quickly is essential to protect your data. So how do you do this? Read on to find out what you should do after a password breach.

Secure Your Network 

When you first notice a password data breach, it’s important to get the situation under control as quickly as possible. This means running security software to clear your system out of any bugs. You should run: 

  • Anti-malware software 
  • Anti-virus software 
  • Anti-ransomware software

If your company uses an Internet of Things then this could also mean a number of devices are compromised. In that case, you will need to run security software across all of these devices. Leaving even just one piece of malware in the system means it can be compromised again in the future.

Update Your Operating System

Outdated operating systems (also known as your OS) can be much more vulnerable to data breaches and password thefts.

This is because they have been around for longer so hackers have had more time to figure out their weaknesses. Older systems also won’t have up-to-date security features in place to prevent cyberattacks.

Again, you should make sure that all of your operating systems are up-to-date. One weak link in your network could leave all of your other devices vulnerable.

A good example of this is the effect of WannaCry ransomware, which hit Windows Operating systems back in 2017. This affected at least seven countries around the world and 67% of outdated Windows OS. Newer operating systems, such as Windows 10, were less affected while the outdated Windows 7 systems took a very big hit.

Once you know that your network is clear of malware then giving it a full OS update will ensure that your security protocols are all up-to-date. This can take a while and may require you to restart your network. But it will be worth it in the long run.

Assess the Source of the Password Breach

After a password data breach, it can be tempting to delete all the files that you associate with the breach itself. However, it is important to identify the source of the breach carefully and record evidence of this. 

Knowing how a breach happened can help you avoid it from happening again. This will tell you a lot about weaknesses in your system. Running a password breach check can help you identify exactly what helped the malware onto your system. 

You can use this information to:

  • Strengthen system security 
  • Raise an alert about the malware
  • Train your staff into techniques for avoiding password breaches and other malware threats

If someone has stolen data from your company via a password breach then you may also want to press criminal charges. After all, cyber-attacks are a federal crime whether they target a company or an individual. 

If you do want to press charges then you will need to find the culprit behind your attack. This means gathering as much evidence on the source of the attack and the damage that it caused as possible.

The security breach caused by compromised passwords is generally due to multiple reasons such as using the same password or reused passwords and not using unique passwords. Ensure affected users are using two factor authentication so nobody will gain access to their online accounts.

Strengthen Your Passwords To Avoid Data Breach

Once you check a password breach and know that your system is clear of immediate threats, it’s time to change your passwords. You should only do this once you know that you are free from data-stealing malware.

When you come to update your passwords, make sure you avoid all the traits of a weak password. You should: 

  • Not use a single word or phrase as your password
  • Use a mixture of upper and lowercase letters 
  • Use a mixture of numbers (ideally among the letters of your password)
  • Choose a password that you don’t have an emotional, sentimental, or obvious connection to
  • Create passwords that have nothing to do with the company that is using them

These tips are all important as they help you create a strong password that is difficult for a hacker to guess. This even makes it difficult for hacker software to guess passwords within your network.

Check for Compromised Passwords Damage

Someone who breaches a company’s password usually does so for a reason. So it is important to find out what they might have been trying to achieve and whether they were successful. 

This might include: 

  • Stealing bank details and financial records
  • Stealing data and personal information
  • Planting more malware into your network
  • Selling your password data to other hackers

Whatever their reasons for targeting your system, it is important to check out any damage that they may have caused. Repairing this damage or speaking to victims of data theft as soon as possible is essential for your company’s safety and reputation.

Get Support With Your Data and Password Security Today

As you can see, if you have suffered a password breach then it is very important to act quickly and secure your network from cybersecurity threats. This involves updating your security protocols and assessing the damage caused by the password data breaches. 

Creating new, strong passwords will help to keep your system secure in the future. If you have difficulty remembering complex and secure passwords then LogMeOnce can help. Find out more about how we can help you store your password information securely today.

We search the Internet for passwords that have been stolen uploaded by hackers and use multiple other data sources to evaluate security breach and ask to change passwords to select a unique password.

We check to see whether your login details are exposed and your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is at a greater risk by bad actors. These actors use brute force options to any online accounts using an inventory of commonly used passwords.

If you’re not using one, you should be using LogMeOnce password manager.



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