How to effectively respond to a cybersecurity breach

Every day, businesses of all sizes fall prey to hackers who want to steal sensitive data or disrupt operations. So in case you do experience a breach, you need to have a cybersecurity protocol in place to minimize damage and downtime.

Here are five steps that you should take in order to respond quickly and effectively to a cybersecurity breach.

1. Assess the damage

The first thing you should do is assess the extent of the cyberattack’s damage. This entails identifying what data has been accessed or stolen, as well as checking for any operational disruptions that have occurred or may occur. This helps you grasp the severity of the breach and allows you to formulate a plan that will effectively stop the attack from spreading any further. Knowing which customer records were exposed and where these were kept will also help you take steps to manage the breach and protect your data in the future.

Remember that the sooner you identify a threat, the better you can mitigate damage. As such, it’s best to invest in proactive monitoring and reporting solutions that will allow you to detect suspicious activity in real-time and provide you with the information you need to take immediate action.

2. Isolate the threat

Once you have assessed the damage, you need to isolate the threat to ensure that it cannot deal more harm. This means disconnecting any infected devices from your network and taking them offline. If possible, you should also disconnect any backup systems or servers that may have been impacted by the breach.

This is possible when you have a robust cybersecurity infrastructure in place, which can be a lifesaver. By segmenting your network and isolating critical systems, you can limit the spread of an infection and make it easier to contain the threat.

3. Restore from backups

Having up-to-date and complete backups is critical to resuming operations following a cyberattack. This is especially important in the case of a ransomware attack: because ransomware encryption is often irreversible, you will not be able to access your data unless you have a backup.

If your backups are stored on site, then they should be kept on a separate device that is not connected to your network. You should have an offsite backup as well. This way, even if your network is compromised, your backups will be safe and you will be able to restore your data. However, investing in offsite backups and their maintenance can be expensive, so it’s a good idea to partner with a data backup and recovery expert who offers automated backup systems and recovery protocols at a flat monthly rate.

4. Notify relevant parties

Per the Federal Trade Commission, you need to notify law enforcement as well as affected businesses and individuals if your organization is hit by a cyberattack. And if you work in a sector with strict regulations on consumer data privacy, then you also need to disclose the breach to the entities prescribed by the authorities in your industry. For instance, the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule lists down the entities you should notify, why they should be notified, and by when.

Because you have to communicate with several parties post-breach, it’s essential to have a clear and concise communication plan in place. This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the right people are being kept in the loop.

5. Strengthen your cybersecurity posture

After experiencing a breach, you should strengthen your cyberdefense so that your business is less vulnerable to future attacks. This may include improving your cybersecurity protocols, investing in better security tools, and training your employees on how to spot and report suspicious activity. This may also require partnering with a business security expert who can help you assess your current security posture and make recommendations for improvement.

Cybersecurity breaches are becoming more common, so it’s important to be prepared. By following these five steps, you can minimize the damage of a breach and protect your business in the future. If you need help with fortifying your systems, look no further than Cutting Edge Network Technologies. Talk to one of our business technology experts now!

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