Privacy is a scarce commodity in today’s online environment. Big corporations, such as healthcare, know everything there is to know about you, thanks to data brokers who collect and consolidate all the data crumbs you leave when you surf the web. However, this invasion of privacy pales in comparison to the consequences of a criminal hacking team digging deep into your personal data. Hackers cash in on their illicit access to your life as soon as possible, preferably before you even realize there’s an issue.
“After a data breach, what is the most critical next step you should take?”
According to some experts, the year 2022 will be the most significant in terms of data breaches ever. Your personal life will be exposed sooner or later. If you find out you’ve been hacked, what should you do?
We set out to seek some expert advice from data security specialists on what they consider the best procedures for dealing with a data breach. We’ve also put together this free-to-download white paper on the 2021 data breach trends and threats, including research findings and expert advice.
Different Types of Cyber-Attacks to Recognize
Unfortunately, any company can be subjected to a data breach or a cyber attack. It doesn’t matter how big or small your company is; if your data, key papers, or client information is compromised, recovering from the fallout could be challenging.
Cyber-attacks come in a variety of forms. The following are a few of the most common:
Phishing is a social engineering scam that falsely uses email to gain sensitive information. This is the most typical hacking approach for getting an employee to open an attachment or click on a link. Hackers use phishing attacks to acquire direct access to a target’s email, social media, or other accounts and modify or compromise associated systems like point-of-sale equipment and order processing systems.
Ransomware is malicious software that prevents users from accessing a computer system unless a sum of money (or ransom) is paid or another action is taken. Viruses, worms, and trojan horses get access to a computer and then destroy it. Hackers force victims to pay a ransom, usually in bitcoin, to unlock their systems. Cyber-attack victims have spent millions of dollars to regain access to their networks in some circumstances.
Unencrypted Data – This is plaintext or data that has not been altered and can be accessed by anyone. This might be critical data kept online on cloud servers with no security measures. By encrypting your data, you may protect yourself from brute force attacks and cyberattacks like malware and ransomware. Data is safeguarded via encryption when sent to the cloud or on a computer system.
What Are The Steps To Take After a Data Breach?
If your company has been the victim of a data breach and you’re not sure what to do next, follow these measures to assist minimize the damage:
1. Keep Your Cybersecurity Breach Under Control
While removing everything following a data breach may be tempting, evidence preservation is critical for understanding how the breach occurred and who was involved. After a breach, you should first determine which servers have been compromised and isolate them as quickly as possible to avoid infecting additional servers or devices.
Here are a few things you can do right now to try to stop a data breach:
What to do if you’re the victim of a cyber-attack:
- Turn off your internet.
- Remote access should be disabled.
- Keep your firewall settings intact.
- Install any security updates or fixes that are available.
- Passwords should be changed regularly.
All passwords that are affected or susceptible should be changed right away. For each account, create a fresh, strong password, and avoid using the same password on numerous accounts. If a data breach occurs again in the future, the damage may be reduced.
2. Examine the Security Breach
If you are a victim of a more significant attack that has impacted several firms, make sure you stay up to current developments from reputable sources watching the situation. Hence, you know what to do next. Whether you’re a victim of a more significant attack or the only victim, you’ll need to figure out what caused the breach at your particular facility so you can act to prevent it from happening again. Consider the following questions:
- Who has access to the virus-infected servers?
- When the incident happened, which network connections were active?
- How did the attack start?
Checking your firewall or email providers’ security data logs, your antivirus application, or your Intrusion Detection System’s logs may assist you in finding out how the incident occurred. Consider hiring a trained cyber investigator if you’re having trouble pinpointing the source and scope of the breach; it might be worth the investment to help you secure yourself in the future.
Determine who has been impacted by the breach.
You’ll also need to figure out who was impacted by the breach, such as employees, customers, and third-party vendors. Determine what information was accessed or targeted, such as birthdays, mailing addresses, email accounts, and credit card numbers, to determine the data breach’s severity.
Educate your employees on data breach procedures.
Your staff should be informed of your company’s data security procedures. Adjust and disclose your security policies after determining the source of the breach to help prevent a repeat of the situation. Consider limiting data access to your staff. You should also train your personnel to regularly prepare for or avert a data breach.
3. Manage the Repercussions of Your Cyber-Attack
Managers and staff should be notified about the violation.
Inform your employees about the situation. Establish clear permissions for team members to communicate internally and externally about the problem. While your company recovers from a data breach, it’s critical to be on the same page with your employees. To identify the appropriate way to notify your customers of the breach, you may need to seek legal guidance.
Notify your insurer if you have cyber liability insurance.
Cyber liability insurance is designed to help you recover from a data breach or cyber security attack. As quickly as possible, contact your carrier to see how they can help you with what to do following a cyber-attack. Suppose you don’t already have a cyber liability insurance policy. In that case, AmTrust’s authorized agents will help you choose one that will cover the costs of dealing with future cyber catastrophes as well as identifying possible cyber exposures.
Customers should be informed.
Consider establishing a special action hotline dedicated to answering queries from affected folks to demonstrate your commitment to be transparent with your customers. Maintaining solid and professional connections with your customers can be difficult without effective communication.
A data breach can be stressful, but your company will be better equipped to recover if you take the proper precautions. Conduct regular security inspections in the future to help prevent the probability of a similar incident occurring.
How To Report Cyber Crimes
If you suspect you’ve been the victim of a scam, take the following steps:
- If you have one, contact your IT/security department.
- Contact your financial institution right away to request a fund recall.
- Report any abnormalities with payroll deposits to your employer.
- Inform the Internet Crime Complaint Center about the attack (IC3). They’ll pass it on to federal, state, municipal, or foreign authorities. Make touch with your credit card company as well.
- If you’re disputing illegal transactions made on your card by scammers, or if you fear your card number has been compromised, tell them.
- If you or your company has been a victim of a network intrusion, data breach, or ransomware assault, please get in touch with your local FBI field office or report it online at tips.fbi.gov.
It’s not easy to keep the consequences of data breaches to a minimum. You must take the necessary precautions and remain vigilant. However, the effort required is far less than the Herculean challenge of regaining your identity after hackers have stolen it.
If you have been notified that your company has been breached, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. There are a few simple steps you can take to mitigate the damage and protect your data. Many businesses find themselves in this situation, and thankfully, some professionals can help. Protected Harbor is a leader in data breach response and protection and is here to help you get through this difficult time. We offer a range of services to our clients, including breach notification, 24×7 remote monitoring, phishing, ransomware safety, remote backup, protected data center, and much more. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you protect your data.