Key Questions to Ask When Preparing a Data Breach Response Plan (Part II)

by Foley & Lardner LLP

Following up on last week’s post, we return to the wide range of questions about a company’s operations that can guide a team building a data breach response plan to cover many of the risks encountered in the wake of a breach.

Who are the key stakeholders?

Many parts of an organization may be impacted – or may need to be at the table to respond to a data security incident or breach. Some, like the IT security team and legal department, may by easy to identify. But there are most certainly other key stakeholders including representatives from the compliance, human resources, communications/media relations and customer service areas of the organization.

It is also important to think about which stakeholders are contacted first when a breach is detected. For example, the organization may need to engage the security and IT teams first in order to try to stop the incident (if it is ongoing) or fix identified security vulnerabilities that played a part in the breach. Additionally, organizations may need to notify legal counsel as soon as the breach is identified to determine whether law enforcement needs to be engaged or regulatory bodies need to be notified. Some law firms, including Foley & Lardner, offer 24 x 7 x 365 hotlines to allow clients to speak with a data security attorney at any time to provide counsel during the early stages of a breach.

In addition to identifying the stakeholders who need to be involved in responding to an incident, organizations should also identify stakeholders who need to be communicated with during the response, including the company’s board, investors, regulatory authorities, customers, and the press. The messages to each – and the timing of those messages – will likely differ stakeholder-to-stakeholder, but your response plan should at least identify who those stakeholders are in advance to minimize the risk of missing an important audience.

Does our insurance cover security incidents and data breaches?

Depending on the nature of the incident, the organization’s insurance policies may provide some protection for data breaches. Analyzing the scope of the policies and the applicable procedures for notifying the insurance provider and filing a claim can be time consuming and will require a careful and detailed review of the policy documents.

Before an incident occurs, organizations should carefully review their insurance policies – and all of the associated fine print – to determine if the policy covers data breaches or security incidents and, if so, what the company needs to do to file a claim. That information, particularly with respect to procedures, should be incorporated into the response plan to ensure the organization brings its insurance providers into the process at the right time. There is an additional benefit to doing a careful review of an organization’s insurance in advance: if the policies do not cover breaches (or only provide coverage in limited circumstances), it gives the organization an opportunity to purchase additional cover to fill the gaps. Likewise, the analysis may also produce recommended changes to the minimum insurance requirements the organization requires vendors to meet if they will have access to personal information.

Have we experienced an incident in the past?

Prior security incidents are valuable learning tools in preparing a response plan. If your organization has experienced a breach in the past, it is important to examine the response to identify practices that worked well, lessons learned and materials that were developed (such as notifications to impacted individuals) that can be leveraged, adapted and improved on moving forward.

View This Blog


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Foley & Lardner LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Foley & Lardner LLP

Foley & Lardner LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.