Has your company experienced a cyber-attack? About one-third of cyber-attacks happen to small businesses, so it’s an unfortunate yet common occurrence. There are steps to take once you fall victim to a data breach. The first thing to do is stay calm and act quickly. Follow these steps if your business has been hacked.
1. What happened?
Once you realize that there has been a data breach, begin to survey the system. Can you figure out how the hacker made its way through your security system? Or, maybe there was not a foreign hacker but an internal individual who created the breach. Track down employees who were given the authorization to access sensitive information. Lastly, begin to gather facts about the breach. Go through this checklist:
- What information was stolen?
- Were employees affected by the breach?
- Was a client’s information leaked? Such as credit cards or bank numbers?
- Did the hacker leave a detailed note within the computer system?
- Is there a way to figure out who created the breach?
2. Gather your team
In times of a breach, it’s crucial to gather your team as quickly as possible. Your team should consist of your IT experts, HR, Security, and a call to your lawyer’s office. They can help you determine what to do next due to a breach.
IT can investigate the hack further to find out the cause and try to lessen the damage. The HR department can work directly with employees to protect them during the breach. Security can check video cameras and investigate suspicious activity. Lastly, your lawyer can walk you through what you can expect from a legal standpoint.
3. How bad is it?
Once you have the appropriate people taking care of their duties, it’s time to assess the damage. What was taken from your company? How many people were affected? Can the issue be fixed? If only one system is infected with a virus, isolate all other devices and systems. Ask your employees to change their passwords immediately to delay any further damage.
Also, speak with your IT department to find a solution to your problems. They can access the situation accordingly to find a better security system for your company. Be sure they fix any vulnerabilities within the code and have them remove all viruses. Also, make a list of everything that was compromised.
4. Speak to the authorities.
If the hackers comprised employees’ or clients’ accounts, you may need to report the issue to the police. The FBI takes care of cyber-attacks and will launch an investigation. Of course, speak to your lawyer as you talk with the FBI. The authorities are here to help you since you are a victim of a crime. Also, your lawyer can help manage the impact of the data breach. Sensitive information from clients and employees may have been leaked. You don’t want to find yourself in a legal dispute, especially when you are the victim.
There are many ways to prepare for a cyber-attack. You can inform employees about harmful links, keep your security system up to date, and hire professionals to conduct pentesting. Pentest as a Service (PtaaS) helps you figure out vulnerabilities in your code to deter hackers. Always be prepared for a cyber-attack. Hackers can strike at any moment. You can stop them directly in their tracks. But if they so happen to break in – stay calm and remember these steps.