Can Your Business Survive Being Hacked?
Find out how you should respond to being hacked.
- By Jerry Young
- May 06, 2019
Cybercriminals and data thieves are experts at exploiting the vulnerabilities of notebooks and tablets. Data breaches and intrusions reported by businesses of all sizes are at an all time high. Could your company recover from identity theft, stolen competitive information, or compromised customer data?
Investigate and verify the attack
It’s important to have an incident response team in place that can immediately swing into action following a cyberattack. Quick response is the key to limiting damages. According to a Ponemon Institute study, leveraging an incident response team was the single biggest factor associated with reducing the cost of a data breach — saving companies nearly $400,000 on average. Here are the first, critical steps your team should take:
- Identify the compromised systems
- Investigate IP addresses used in the attack
- Determine the type of attack, e.g., virus, malware, unauthorized access, etc.
Once you know the details of the threat or vulnerability, you can immediately warn other users on the network and inform them what type of attack to look for and how to avoid it.
Mitigate and isolate the damage
Don’t panic and shut down your entire network, disrupting your business operations and risking missed deadlines, angry customers, and damage to your company reputation. Instead, get busy isolating and mitigating damage to affected systems.
Don’t hesitate to notify customers and stakeholders of the attack. It’s better to admit to a data breach up front rather than keep the attack a secret. Should news get out that you’ve tried to hide or cover up a security breach, your company’s integrity could take a big hit.
Quarantine all infected computers or impacted applications on the network. By isolating affected systems, you can contain the damage and prevent any virus or malware from spreading. Your incident response team should also look for backdoors that hackers may have set up to get into your system in the future. If vendors, customers, or suppliers have been hacked, block all access from these accounts until security issues have been resolved.
Plug the holes, spread the word
Change company-wide passwords for access to any systems that were affected, and install clean data and software backups, preferably from off-site devices not connected to your network. Make sure there are no default “admin” or other obvious usernames and passwords in place that could allow hackers back in. Then, spread the word: Take steps to ensure all employees are trained in basic cybersecurity procedures and policies, such as keeping passwords secure, not sharing personal information, and avoiding emailed links and downloads.
Get the best protection for endpoint devices
By now, you’ve probably figured out that the best way to survive a data breach is not to have one. Endpoint devices have become the latest target, and attacks against notebooks and desktops increased by 132 percent in 2016 alone. That’s why it’s essential to strengthen endpoint security by replacing old, outdated, or insecure devices with notebooks and tablets equipped with multiple levels of protection to help secure your company’s valuable data assets.
About the Author
Jerry Young is the Principal Solution Architect at MNJ Technologies.