Data Breach Response Policy

Does your company have the right data breach response policy? If not, do you know what you should include in this policy? To know more about this, let us keep reading.

Data Breach Response Policy

A data breach response policy is a policy that is most often created within an organization to provide procedures and guidelines on how to respond to data breaches. 

This policy can also provide information on: 

  • what types of breaches are covered by the policy, 
  • how the organization will respond to each type of breach, 
  • how the organization will communicate with individuals who become aware of a breach, 
  • and who is responsible for carrying out the response activities.

A data breach response process provides a roadmap to follow in case of a data breach. There are two types of data breach response processes:

  • Incident Response Process
  • Communication and Notification Process. 

Incident Response Process

Incident Response Process is a systematic approach to dealing with a data breach once it has been discovered. The process involves investigation, containment, eradication, and recovery, and may also include notifying law enforcement or other authorities. This process can be manual or automated based on the organization’s requirements.

Communication and Notification Process 

The Communication and Notification Process is typically designed to notify individuals whose personal information may have been compromised during a data breach. The process should include methods and channels for communicating with affected individuals, as well as methods for providing them with relevant information such as instructions for taking mitigating steps.

It should also include methods for handling customer inquiries related to notifications and procedures to document the communication activities carried out by the organization in response to a data breach incident.

Data Breach Response Policy Requirements

What do you need to include in this policy? First, you need to:

  • define the purpose of the policy, 
  • specify the scope of the policy, 
  • outline key definitions, 
  • describe the data breach response process, 
  • outline the roles and responsibilities of individuals involved in responding to a data breach, and finally, 
  • provide a point of contact for questions and concerns.

The purpose of a data breach response policy is to guide personnel on how they should respond to a data breach. So, the policy should state how an organization will handle a data breach from its discovery until the completion of all notification activities. 

It should also provide guidelines on how the organization will communicate about the incident with affected individuals and other stakeholders. In addition, it must specify who is responsible for taking action during a data breach. 

A data breach response policy should include certain key elements. These key elements include:

  • The source of authority for creating the policy
  • The scope of the policy
  • Policy statement about handling data breaches
  • Policy scope statement including information on what types of breaches this policy covers or does not cover
  • Then, the policy statement indicates that individuals must report a known or suspected data breach to management or other specified people within an organization.


As you can see, the data breach response policy is a very important part of the overall security program. It should guide staff on how to handle data breaches. Therefore, it is recommended that you create one for your organization as soon as possible. 

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