How to Respond to a Cyber Attack on Your Business

Cyber security affects businesses of all sizes, and in every industry. Today it is a board-level agenda item, which has been placed at number three on the Lloyds Risk Register (2013). When it comes to dealing with a cyber attack, every single person involved with the business should be concerned. It affects every team and department within an organization making it a people and operational issue, rather than simply a technical problem.

Today’s modern environment at work means that almost every single organization is, to a certain extent, reliant on technology and telecommunications to get the job done. And, cyber breaches are becoming more common – it’s no longer a case of ‘if’ one happens, but ‘when’. Once a breach is discovered, it’s essential that action is taken quickly and comprehensively, otherwise, the business may be exposed to even a further liability. To best deal with the breach, a company must take these critical steps:

Mobilize the Incident Response Team:

An incident response team should be formed before a security breach occurs; it should involve all relevant stakeholder groups, for example, a technical team who can begin investigating the breach immediately, HR and employee representatives where applicable, and experts in fields such as data protection, public relations, intellectual property and more. If it’s suspected that the breach may have been caused from the inside, experts from Secure Forensics can help you find the evidence. Legal representatives should also be present as there are a number of legal implications for any cyber attack.

Ensure Business Continuity:

Following a cyber breach, the first step from a technical perspective is to secure the IT systems so that the breach can be contained and ensure that it does not become ongoing. As a result, the organization may be required to isolate or suspend any compromised network sections, or even the entire network in certain severe cases. This can, of course, be very disruptive and potentially extremely costly for the business especially those dealing with MAP pricing.

Conduct a Thorough Investigation:

Once the incident has been responded to appropriately, it’s essential to carry out a thorough investigation to determine the facts surrounding the breach, the effects that it has had on business networks and systems, and the remedial actions that must be taken. It’s important for an organization to, at this point, decide who is going to take the lead on the investigation and ensure that necessary and appropriate resources are made available. If there’s a chance that an employee or employees could be involved in the breach, any investigation will also need to take applicable labor laws into consideration.

Manage Public Relations:

Last but not least, managing public relations will be a key requirement for the organization’s incident response team, which is especially important if the business involved is customer-facing. Bear in mind that while not all security breaches will become public, it’s inevitable that some will. For example, customers will need to learn about what’s happened if there is a chance that their personal data has been compromised. Timely management of public announcements coupled with honesty and transparency is crucial.

Today, security breaches are inevitable for all businesses; make sure that your company is prepared.

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