What To Do If Your Business Suffers A Cyber Attack

There are many benefits to putting part of your business online. Whether this is through cultivating an online presence or putting your company’s valuable data on the cloud, the internet can be one of the best tools our company can use. It is virtually unheard of for a business not to use the internet in 2023. It has transformed and streamlined many companies and allowed them to expand, through strategies such as content or email marketing. However, there are risks when it comes to your company’s online presence. Unfortunately, cybercriminals often target businesses in order to steal their money. Cyber attacks can result in a lot of time and money being wasted. While there are many things you can do to prevent a cyber attack, it is important to know what to do in the event of a data breach. Whether you need to protect against financial hacking, crypto hacks or anything in between, having a plan in place is one of the best things you can do to mitigate the damage to your company in case of a cyber attack. 

This guide will let you know how to limit damage to your business’ systems and data, and also let you know how to comply with regulations which will help you in the aftermath. 


What To Do As Soon As The Attack Occurs

Once you have noticed a cyber attack, time is of the essence. There are many things you should do immediately in order to mitigate the amount of damage that is caused to your business. The first thing you need to immediately do is disconnect everything from the internet. This will hopefully stop the cyber breach in its tracks, and prevent hackers from having access to your internal affairs. You should also immediately disable remote access. If you have any employees accessing your internal system, this should be stopped as soon as the breach is noticed. This is in case the hackers are accessing your company information via their devices. You should also begin to install and update your company’s chosen security software. This will allow you to ensure that your company has the latest software that will protect you in case of a cyber breach. You should also immediately change any passwords for all of your employee’s business accounts. This will make sure that hackers will not be able to re-access your compromised accounts, which could save you lots of time in the future. You should also ensure that work on your firewall is up-to-date- this will add further protection in the wake of a cyber breach. 

Taking these steps is incredibly important in the immediate aftermath of a cyber breach. Make sure you document all of these steps, as this will be important during the investigation phase. 

One of the other things you should do in the immediate aftermath is to run an internal investigation to try and figure out what happened and where the breach is coming from. Don’t delete any files- this could make the situation worse. If you have been a victim of a severe cyber attack, you might also need to consider temporarily taking down your website. Make sure you ask your web hosting service to back up your data, as this will be important when it comes to recovering from the attack. 


Reporting The Cyber Attack

Depending on the severity of the cyber attack and the damage caused, you might have to report directly to certain institutions and people. This is important as it is part of your business’ duty to its clients and the public. 

If money is lost, there are certain places you need to report to.  If you live in the UK for example, you must report to the SRA. This is important if you lose either client money or information. However, each country will have its own individual organisation in the case of money lost due to a cyber attack, so you will need to make sure you have their contact details ready just in case. As part of this process, you will usually need to inform the client of the attack and repay any mo money lost. You should contact your bank and your professional indemnity insurance provider. They will help you on the money front.

If you have lost sensitive personal information, you will also need to contact the appropriate authorities. They will help you to mitigate the possible damage caused by a sensitive information breach. You will also need to inform your clients personally in the event that the breach will negatively affect their privacy and personal protection. 


The Investigation

If you employ business cyber security services as part of your business, they will often do a full-scale investigation which will seek to find out the cause of the attack, the extent of the damage, and how this could’ve been prevented in the future. You might also find it very helpful to talk it through with your employees when the dust has settled. This will help you all get on the same page about the cause of the attack, how damage can be mitigated, and steps to take in the future. 

Set out a significant window of time to open up a dialogue with your staff. With the help of your cyber security team, go through the cause of the attack. If an employee fell for a phishing attack which resulted in the breach, maybe consider setting your staff up with cyber security training. This will allow your business to be better protected going forward. Discussing the extent of the impact will allow your team to know what they need to do in the future. You should also discuss want went well during the response- this will emphasise where you need to improve. Setting out a plan with your staff for improvements and training could prevent a serious cyber attack from happening to your business again. 


Other Things To Think About

You also need to consider your insurance plan. Having both professional indemnity insurance and cyber insurance can shield your business from the possible massive costs that come with a cyber attack. You will need to spend money on recovering information, replacing stolen client money, and other cyber security services. Having this insurance in place can shoulder a massive burden which could otherwise be put on your company.