What to Do After a Cyberattack: 4 steps to Recovery

If you have ever dealt with consequences of a cyberattack, you’ll agree that two key tips on quickly recovering after it sound as “act fast” and “be prepared”.

Nowadays, more and more businesses become victims of cyberattacks, because a great variety of malicious software and new social engineering techniques aimed at compromising personal info and safety of their customers are invented every day. Alas, cybercrime is on the rise from year to year, that is why it’s crucial for businesses, whatever their size, to have a recovery plan at hand in order to mitigate losses after a cyberattack, if it occurs. If worst comes to worst and a data breach happens, here are the steps for you to take so that your company would recover from it quickly.

1. Detect and suppress the breach in time

Sad but true: statistics shows that most companies aren’t aware of a cyberattack or a data breach until 200 days passes after the incident – or even longer! So, as soon as you learn of the problem, the first thing to do is to identify it and prevent it from spreading or intensifying. After this, you should record the following info:

  • When the incident occurred?
  • Will it affect customers, and if yes, how?
  • What kind of assets have been affected by it?
  • Who did fall victim to this attack?
  • What was the type of this attack?

To bring the problem under control and effectively solve it, your company’s IT department should be always ready to take appropriate action: isolate sensitive data from the corporate network, reset logins and passwords at all the accounts affected by the attack, reinstall all the programs and files affected by the incident, disconnect all affected hosts, remove all files installed during the attack, apply necessary security patches, and so on.

2. Inform all your customers about the breach on time

Experts say that large companies rarely respond to cyberattacks quickly. Well, they can react quickly to it in order to contain the attack or a security breach, but they are very slow to inform general public about the incident, including even their clients directly affected by the incident. It often takes them months to disclose info about the attack. It may result in lawsuits, flawed companies’ reputations, not mentioning losing lots of customers.

To avoid such problems, make sure you have a good response plan at hand – before any attach occurs. Contact your marketing and public relations departments and prepare basic messages you would distribute in case a data breach happens; think over the issue of compensations beforehand as well. When you need to spread this information, your IT team will simply to add specific details. Publicize info about the steps you are taking in order to prevent security incidents in future, e.g. switching to safer protocols.

3. Take action to prevent security breaches future

If a data breach occurs, it is critical for your company to have qualified professionals available – they will help mitigate consequences of the attack., According to IBM , right cybersecurity experts, such as incident response teams, chief information security officers, and business managers, can save your company millions by containing a data breach and communicating with the parties affected by the incident.

Companies can also benefit from investing into innovative online security technologies, which will lower their protection costs. The research done by Ponemon Institute revealed how much money can be saved by implementing new technologies: encryption technology saved surveyed firms $1.4 million in just a year, proper security intelligence systems – $3.7 million on average, and use of advanced-level firewalls – about $2.5 million.

4. Take care of the legal defense

When customers’ information gets compromised due to a data breach, they quite predictably tend to sue the company which they think is responsible for their losses. For example, Yahoo is currently involved into a class-action suit due to its recent security incident, in which more than 500 million accounts were compromised. So, it is really important for all companies to be prepared to being sued for allowing cybercriminals to get access to the clients’ valuable data.

The Department of Justice recommends owners of companies to get in touch with local law enforcement authorities beforehand, not just after a cyber incident occurs. In such a case, you get a contact person who you will promptly inform report the crime in case of a data breach.

Retaining a legal counsel before any cybercrime is committed is also a good idea. Also, a business manager should make sure that the legal team is experienced enough in dealing with management of cyber incidents. All companies, regardless of their size, should be proactive and take appropriate measures to prevent cyberattacks.

As you can see, being always ready and responding fast will help your company to recover from a cyberattack quickly and efficiently.