Approaches to Handling Cyber Incidents

Blog written by Corporate Technologies LLC, a Greater Mankato Growth member

Balancing a Proactive and Reactive Approach to Cyber Incidents

A cyber incident is a type of security event that can harm a business like yours. Ranging from data breaches and system failures to malware attacks and phishing scams, these incidents can hinder productivity, revenue growth, and customer satisfaction.

In most cases, a cyber incident will result in data loss or downtime. This can include loss of
confidential information, customer data, or business records. In some cases, a cyber incident can also cause business interruption or financial loss.

We can all agree that no one wants their business to be hacked. A single cyberattack can rob you of your time, money, and peace of mind. In addition to getting systems operational and data restored, you must let all affected parties know that their data may have been compromised. This can be a difficult situation to navigate for anyone, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. In this blog, we’ll provide you with proactive and reactive approaches to tackle an attack, cope with the aftermath of a hack and prevent future incidents.

Proactive Steps to Implement

By taking these proactive steps, you can help protect your business from the devastating
consequences of a cyberattack:

Routinely update your passwords

It’s critical to update your passwords regularly to help keep your accounts safe. By updating your passwords every six months, you can help protect your accounts from being hacked:

Here are a few tips on how to create a strong password:

  • Use a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols
  • Avoid using easily guessable words like your name or birthdate
  • Use a different password for each account
  • Don’t reuse passwords

Real Cyber Incidents Experienced by Small Businesses

Although the media usually underreports attacks on small businesses and focuses on data
breaches that affect large corporations, here are two instances of incidents that severely impacted small businesses:

1. When the bookkeeper of a boutique hotel began receiving insufficient fund notifications for regularly recurring bills, the chief executive officer (CEO) realized their company had been the victim of wire fraud.

A thorough examination of the accounting records revealed a severe issue. A few weeks prior, the CEO had clicked on a link in an email that they mistook for one from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It wasn’t the case. Cybercriminals obtained the CEO’s login information, giving them access to sensitive business and personal information.

This attack had a significant impact. The company lost $1 million to a Chinese account and the money was never recovered.

2. The CEO of a government contracting firm realized that access to their business data,
including their military client database, was being sold in a dark web auction. The CEO soon noticed that the data was outdated and had no connection to their government agency clients. How did this data leak happen? The company discovered that a senior employee had downloaded a malicious email attachment thinking it was from a trusted source.

The breach had a significant operational and financial impact, costing more than $1 million. The company’s operations were disrupted for several days since new security software licenses and a new server had to be installed.

Collaborate for Success

Your business is not immune to cyberthreats. To address incidents as they occur, adequate
security measures and an incident response plan are required. Consider consulting with an IT service provider like us if you need help identifying the right technologies to prevent a cyber incident or help with developing an incident response plan.

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