Your Business has been HACKED — Now What?

There is an old saying that “there are no shortcuts in life.”

While I am not sure who originally created that statement, I can’t help to assume they didn’t work from a computer—or if they did, they must have not known the power of the CTRL (control) button.

shortcut sign

By: Shelby Beadle

Your Business has been HACKED – Now What?

Six Steps to Business Continuity after a Hack

If you have followed PCA Technology Solutions long at all, you certainly know that #TheThreatsAreReal. Knowing that there has been a shocking 63% increase in cyber crimes targeting small to medium businesses in the past two years alone, according to Keeper Security and Ponemon Institute, can be intimidating. Knowing that the average cost per incident for organizations with fewer than 500 employees is $7.81 million, as found in the same study in 2020, is frankly terrifying. So, what can you do if your organization falls victim to an attack?

  1. Be prepared for it.

 First and foremost, having a plan and proper security measures in place before you NEED them could be the key to keeping your organization from becoming part of the 60% of small businesses that close their doors permanently within six months of a breach. For this reason, we believe that having a CIO or vCIO that understands the need for disaster recovery is an essential component to your overall security plan.

  1. Stay calm and seek help.

Have you ever heard the saying that “chaos creates chaos”? If you experience an irregularity that leads you to believe you have been hacked, contact a trusted security consultant or provider and local computer crimes law enforcement. These professionals can help you get a full picture of what is going on and can narrow down how the hacker(s) infiltrated your network and what data has been compromised.

  1. Get legal advice.

When it comes to breached data, certain authorities must be notified and failure to do so could land you a liability lawsuit. An experienced attorney can walk you through your legal obligations if your cyber-insurance policy does not provide that service.

  1. Communicate.

Quickly communicate the dreaded news with potentially affected employees, customers, and partners about what happened. Being hacked is costly; you likely cannot afford to damage your reputation by withholding information.

  1. Isolate and eliminate.

No different than when a person is sick, once a device or group of devices are detected to be infected, quarantine them from all other devices on your network and shut down your website while you clean up. During the clean-up process, having backup data is key to restoring your data.

  1. Rebuild.

Once your security breach is behind you and the point of entry for the hackers has been identified, it is time to rebuild. It is critical to acknowledge where things went wrong to prevent them from happening again. Make sure all security defenses are running properly, data is backed up securely, your team is properly trained to avoid phishing scams, and a disaster recovery is in place for future attacks.

Everything that follows the event of a cyber attack is quite a bit to digest, which is why prevention is so important. With 43% of small to medium businesses lacking any type of cyber security plan, hackers see them as an easy target. On top of that, over 30% of attacks on small businesses stem from a phishing attempt, so an investment on staff training is critical. While proper cyber hygiene comprised of layered security solutions and ongoing staff training are key ingredients to preventing an attack, a plan for disaster recovery is still essential. Cyber criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated in their attacks, making no one completely safe.

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About the Author

Ted Clouser