Did you know that 43% of all cyber attacks target small businesses; 60% of small companies go out of business within six months of an attack and only 14% of small businesses rate their ability to mitigate cyber risks and attacks as “highly effective.”
So, are you prepared? To prepare your business for cyber attacks and prevent/ward them off, you need to take a disciplined and strategic approach. Here are some suggestions:
Review Your Security Policies
What sort of security policies does your company have in place and are these policies carefully enforced? Research shows that weak or insufficient passwords cause more than half of all data breaches, yet only 24% of small businesses have strict password policies in place. Among those that do have a formal policy in place, 65% of companies say they don’t actively enforce it. Take time to review your security policies every few months to make sure they’re comprehensive and enforceable. It’s also wise to be on the lookout for new strategies that you can put in place to shore up vulnerable areas of the business.
Conduct Regular Cybersecurity Drills
You would do it in the case of a fire, so why not do a drill for a cybersecurity attack? Practice makes perfect, and at least this one doesn’t require you to line up outside. During a cybersecurity drill you should assess response timing on multiple levels, see how quickly individuals and teams respond and either thwart or mitigate a cyber attack and also how fast are you able to inform customers of the most current and accurate information?
Invest in the Right Insurance Policies
Do you have cyber liability insurance? It helps mitigate the costs of an attack and in most cases, is available both as a standalone policy, as well as an add-on to a business owner’s policy. There are two types: first-party and third-party. First-party coverage can help cover expenses when your network is hacked, or your data is stolen, and third-party coverage offers protection when a customer or partner sues you for allowing a data breach to happen.
There are courses you can go on to get clued up on the risks and resolutions in the event of a cyber attack. Alpine Security CompTIA training is just one example of a company which offers this security training.
If you put these precautions in place but still become a victim of a cyber-attack, what should you do to minimize the damage?
Take Everything Offline
As soon as you suspect that your systems have been attacked, it is vital that you take all your services offline as quickly as possible. If someone has managed to access your data, you need to limit the amount of information they get.
It is also essential so that you can quickly assess and block the entry point. It might be that you acted quick enough to stop any data from being taken. However, you should still check everything to ensure that nothing is lost.
Inform the Authorities
Whether you are a large company or a small business, stealing or attempting to take someone’s data is a severe offense. The authorities need to be informed so that they can commence an investigation. You will need to make all your systems and data available to the authorities, so they can see where any entry has occurred and hopefully trace it back to the perpetrator.
It is also a good idea to keep any logs or CCTV footage as well just in case there were any internal security breaches.
Inform Your Customers
Informing your customers is vital, you need to prepare a statement that outlines what has happened and any potential data that has been lost. Even if you are not sure if any data has been lost, or what details they may contain, your customers need to be aware so that they can monitor their banks to see if any suspicious activity has taken place. Your customers and clients may have questions that they want to ask. So you should also have a dedicated email or telephone line established to field such queries.
Your company will need to establish how and when your security was breached. It is also essential to ascertain whether the breach was external or internal to your company.
Some companies offer computer evidence recovery services that can help you and the authorities discover any potential evidence. They can then provide that to you so that you can see if there are any apparent suspects.
Review and Strengthen Your Procedures
Before you put your services and systems back online, it is essential to do a thorough audit of all the procedures and safeguards you have in place. Some companies can come in and check your systems and advise on how they can be improved.