If you’re at the helm of a small business, you might think cyberattacks only happen on the news or too big organizations, but that’s entirely untrue. If you run a small or medium-sized business, you should know that the vast majority of attacks are targeted at organizations of your size.
There are a lot of steps you can take as a small business even without a dedicated IT team, to protect yourself and your assets.
For example, you can use managed IT services and compare vendors for DNS security and other specific service providers.
Even with protections in place, you still need also to have a plan for what happens if you’re infiltrated, just in case. If you are the victim of a cyberattack and you’re completely blindsided with no plan of how to handle it in place, it can spell the end of your business.
So what should you do if you’re the victim of a cybercrime?
Work to Minimize Damage
The second you start to notice the potential of an attack, you should be working to minimize the damage. This is where it’s important to have the right tools and protections in place because even if there is infiltration, they can flag it early on.
Detecting an intrusion as early as possible is key to mitigate potential damage.
If an intrusion is detected, you should speak with your IT team and, if you don’t have one, your managed service provider or perhaps a third-party IT professional.
You’ll need to take the right course of action, including investigating the cause of the attack.
Then, you’ll need to start taking the necessary steps to protect against future attacks, including changing passwords.
Changing passwords, especially on accounts with access to sensitive information, is fast and easy.
Disconnecting can also be important to minimize further access and damage.
During these initial phases, you’ll also need to make sure you have a full record of all loss incurred, all of the damages and the responsive measures you take.
Other things you can do initially to contain a data breach include disabling remote access, maintaining firewall settings, and installing any pending patches or updates.
Following a breach, take a step back to properly assess the situation. Think about who has access to infected servers, and the network connections that were active at the time of the breach. Assess how the attack was initiated as well.
Look through security data logs, which you can get from your firewall or email provider, or your antivirus program.
If you find that it’s challenging to do this assessment work on your own, you might hire a cyber investigator.
Who was affected by the beach? This includes employees and customers and also any third-party vendors.
Seek Legal Assistance
There may be situations where it’s a good idea to proactively seek legal assistance if you are the victim of a cyberattack. You’re going to be facing losses, damage to your reputation, and business disruption if it’s a significant attack.
If you seek legal counsel, you can learn more about your rights and what options are available to you.
Dealing With the Fallout
It’s so important that you communicate a data breach or cyberattack in the right way. Your staff will need to know first, and you will need to set parameters for them as far as how they’re to communicate about the situation, internally and externally.
Everyone within your organization has to stay on the same page.
If you have cyber liability insurance, you’ll need to let your provider know about the attack.
Then comes the time when you let customers know. You have to be transparent, and you want to ensure that the approach you use is going to allow you to maintain relationships with your customers moving forward.
Before you contact your customers, ensure that you have a full understanding of the breadth of the attack and how it specifically affects them.
Be ready to detail any steps you are taking to remedy the problem.
Once you’ve completed these steps, the best thing you can do looking forward is to have a strong plan and preventative measures in place that take into account everything you learned during the incident.
No business wants to be the target of a cyberattack, but it’s becoming an increasingly common reality, so being prepared and proactive are important.
Having a plan in place for dealing with an attack is just as important as preventative measures.