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How to Respond to a Cyber Attack

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Tue, Jun 02, 2020 at 4:35PM

How to Respond to a Cyber Attack

As protective measures evolve and adapt respectively with the ever-advancing times, so too do hacking tactics become more thorough and problematic. Recent reports show that hacker attacks occur every 39 seconds on average and an astounding 43% of these target small businesses, with half of these going out of business within a year of being attacked. Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly common among companies both small and big and yet 77% of organizations do not have an incident response plan in the event of a cybersecurity breach. The reality is that security measures alone will not prevent attacks from occurring, but you can equip yourself and your company to be ready when it happens. Continue reading for our tips on how to respond to a cyber attack.

No matter how secure you may think your business is, you must acknowledge that the risk of cyber attack is and always will be there. Because of this, it is important to have a cyber attack incident response plan in place in anticipation that an attack will happen. Tracking attackers is a process that can take anywhere from eight weeks to six months after the breach has already been committed, which may be hard to tolerate for anyone and is a waste of valuable time.

Take Inventory

Start your cyber attack response plan by taking a complete inventory of your business’ most critical information. Audit your systems and take note of the most important components, then track everything. Keep in mind which data would need to be reinstated first in the event of an attack and prioritize these.

Hand Pick a Team

Nominate individuals to be readily available in case of an emergency with clearly defined responsibilities to manage the many internal technical components involved with recovering from a breach, such as reaching out to public relations or getting in touch with legal counsel. To ensure safety, pick a second in command for your team – after all, there is strength in numbers.

Make a Plan

Once you have an inventory of your valuable data and a crack team in place, develop an actionable plan with specific, concrete procedures to follow in the event of a cyber incident. These procedures should include delegating lead responsibility to someone, establishing lines of communication with critical personnel, preserving possibly compromised data, and determining who needs to be notified when breaches occur.

Know Your Notification Laws

Many states and countries have laws in place that require businesses to alert their customers in there is any chance that their information has been stolen, disclosed, or lost in a breach. While preparing your defenses against cyber attacks, make sure to familiarize yourself with your international, state, and local laws regarding notification obligations and include this information in your response plan.

Use Your Plan

Now that you’ve got your cyber attack incident response plan in place, all that’s left to do is implement it in the unfortunate event that your business comes under attack! As soon as you determine that a breach has occurred, assess the situation and figure out whether it’s a malicious attack or a simple glitch. Once the nature of the attack is confirmed, put your plan into action, collect the impacted data, and begin the notification process.

Data breaches are inevitable for everybody and fortunately, everyone has the ability to prepare for one. Even after cyber incidents, remain vigilant and hone your response plan. Evaluate what worked well and what didn’t and adjust accordingly. You’ll be glad you did if you find yourself coming under attack again.

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