Would your business survive a cyber-attack?

- 23 July 2019 -

How well do you think your business would survive a cyber-attack? Do you have appropriate measures in place to help you prevent, shut down, and recover from an attack on your digital security?

Tips for preventing a cyber-attack

In this blog post, we’ll talk you through some of the key steps you can take to help your business survive a cyber-attack. We’ll talk you through some tips to prevent an attack in the first place, and give some ideas for what to do if an attack occurs.

Keep security software up to date

We’re sure you’ll already have invested in appropriate security software for your technology. That’s a fantastic first step. But, you need to make sure you keep it updated. We know it’s easier to postpone updates when you’re busy, but you need to make the time. That’s what’s going to keep you safe.

Review your security regularly

It’s not enough to put security measures in place and forget about them. They need to be regularly updated and reviewed to make sure they’re constantly working hard to keep your business safe.

Train your team

All members of your team need to know how to spot suspicious activity. Ensure everyone is aware of the potential threats in suspicious emails, knows how to create strong passwords, and how to spot suspicious problems with your webpages.

Limit employee access

We know you trust your staff, but limit their access only to what they need to do their work. It helps if you keep a tighter control over your sensitive data as it reduces the chance of accidents that hackers can capitalise on.

Make sure all your team have their own personal accounts and encourage them to regularly change their passwords.

team talking about how to survive a cyber-attack

Use two-factor authentication

The extra security provided by two-factor authentication can help you avoid a cyber-attack altogether. It adds an extra layer of protection to access your secure information.

Make sure you’re insured

You’ll be incredibly thankful for your insurance when it comes to your business surviving a cyber-attack. It can help cover the costs of investigating the cause of the hack, notifying customers affected, and to get you back up and running. It should even cover the cost of any lost income resulting from the attack.

Protect your physical assets

We tend to think of cyber-attacks as only existing online. But, it’s just as important to control access to your computers and physical data to ensure a criminal cannot access and misuse your information.

Create backups and test them regularly

Having appropriate backups in place is invaluable when it comes to recovering from a cyber-attack. They’ll let you quickly get back up and running and minimise anything you might have lost. Make sure you test your backups semi-regularly to make sure they’re all in good working order.

What to do if an attack occurs

If the worst does happen, and you notice that your business is experiencing a cyber-attack, there are some key things you’ll need to do:

Refer to your incident response plan

Setting out the key steps you need to take to respond to a cyber-attack will help you if one occurs. You’ll be able to follow your key points and remain calm throughout the process to minimise the threat.

Make sure everyone understands what their role will be if a cyber-attack should happen. That will give all members of the team a sense of purpose and you can all work together to respond and recover.

Identify the cause

You need to know exactly what’s been impacted by the cyber-attack. You’ll need to figure out which parts of your business are in danger and where the problem originated.

Stop using the infected systems

For example, if it’s your emails that have been compromised in the attack, stop using them. It will make the problem worse if you continue to use the systems that have been implicated.

man writing an email on his computer

Have a solid communications plan in place

If you fall victim to a cyber-attack, communication is going to be key. You’ll need to be able to communicate effectively between different teams within your business to minimise the disruption to your day-to-day.

You’ll also need to talk with the police, insurers and regulatory bodies, and have your marketing team manage the communications with your customers and the media.

Notify your customers

If customer data has been compromised, you need to let them know and sincerely apologise to them. They’ll then be able to take whatever action they deem appropriate to protect themselves against any potential harm in the future.

In summary

No business is too small to be in the clear when it comes to cyber-attacks. Make sure you have taken every possible step you can to help keep your business secure online, and have a solid plan in place to respond to an attack if the worst should happen. Pre-planning and fast response are the most important things you can do to help your business survive a cyber-attack.

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