November 21, 2018
2018 Department of Justice Report: Rebuilding from a Cyber Attack
Following a hack, it’s important that you rebuild not only your infrastructure but also your trustworthiness. Taking steps to learn from past mistakes and protect against future hacks will help salvage the relationship you have with your customers.
Many small businesses never reopen following a hack, and it’s not the downed technology that’s put them out of business. It’s the damage done to their reputation. No matter what you do following a hack, whether you get new technology or employ new policies and practices, be sure to show your customers that you’re keeping them, their data, and their safety in mind.
Once you’ve been the victim of a hack, you are more susceptible to being attacked again, usually by the same hacker. Intruders who have previously gained access to a compromised system know the tips and tricks to expose your data.
Also, remember that you’ll never be 100% protected. An intruder could have accessed your system in a variety of ways, one of which you have yet to discover. Continue to monitor your systems for strange activity so you can pinpoint another attack sooner rather than later.
Following a hack, it’s important that your organization take the time to reflect on all that went wrong. Where were the shortcomings in your security measures? Was there old software not updated? Were there employees not properly educated in email safety? Was the IT team backing up files?
Only when you reflect back on your mistakes and shortcomings can you take steps to rebuild and improve. Chances are, you won’t make the same mistake again.
Upon reflecting, you’ll also come to discover what resources you may need to better protect yourself against future cyber incidents. Resources may include new technology, new antivirus software, or even a new IT team.
This is your opportunity to show your partners, customers, and clients that you’re worthy of their trust. Make conscious efforts to acquire new resources, enact new policies, and onboard new experts.
Of course, these measures are not inexpensive, especially if you’ve just suffered from a hack that’s cost you millions. Investing in cyber liability insurance is one way to show that you’ll be prepared financially come the next cyber breach.
All of the reporting you’ve done over the course of the cyber attack will now come in handy. Bring your planning team back together and reflect on your organization’s response to the hack. What were your strengths? What were your weaknesses? Did you actually follow the plan you had outlined? If you did, how did it go? If you didn’t, why?
There are always improvements that can be made. Your cybersecurity response plan should be an ever-changing entity that grows, expands, and transforms as technology…and the individuals that seek to exploit it…do the same.
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