Any company, regardless of its size, can suffer from a security breach or a cyber-attack. In 2020, cyber-attacks increased to 600%, mostly because of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s essential to know the course of action to take after an attack as prepared as you may be.
Get to Understand the Attack
Is it phishing where the attackers try to fraudulently obtain sensitive information through emails or ransomware where the attackers block your access to the computer systems until you pay a ransom? Another common form of attack is baiting, where a computer is infected with malware after the user is tricked into downloading some freebies such as music or movies.
Contain the Attack
It’s essential to understand the systems or departments that have been affected and contain them immediately to prevent the attack’s spread. For instance, if the attack was in your organization’s microscopy lab department, halt its operations as you secure the computers in the department. Switch off the internet, disconnect all remote access points, install new security updates, and maintain the firewall security settings. It’s also crucial to change all the passwords and use different strong passwords for each account. Better still, change the passwords for all the systems, including those that have not been affected. Refrain from deleting the data on your computers because you need it as evidence or a guide to understanding the cyber-attack.
Assess the Attack
At this point, determine whether the attack was widespread, covering your entire computer system, other businesses, or it was isolated. It’s essential to understand how the attack took place, who had access to the affected servers, and the network systems during the attack. If you can’t find this information on your own, hire a cybersecurity expert who will not only help assess and contain the breach but will ensure all appropriate security systems are in place to prevent a future security breach.
Who was Affected?
Did the security breach affect the employees, customers, or vendors? Which information was accessed? Were personal customer details, such as credit card details, mailing addresses, and email accounts affected? If your clients’ data is at risk, you may have to inform them and explain the situation, including the steps taken to secure your servers. You may also have to notify the law enforcers.
Educate the Employees
When assessing the breach, you may have discovered the loopholes that led to the attack. You must inform the employees about the attack and educate them on how to avoid future attacks. It may be necessary to hire a cybersecurity expert to train the team on how to spot and prevent security breaches. Make sure to install more effective security systems and update the current ones. Additionally, you may have to restrict employees’ access to data depending on their job roles.
It’s more important to prevent a security breach, but it’s also crucial to learn how to act when the unfortunate happens. This ensures your business operations are not affected, and your customers don’t lose trust in you.