You’ve been Hacked… Now What?

It can happen without warning. One day your business operations are flowing as they normally would, and the next day you learn your business is among the 72 percent of small-to-medium sized business that is a victim of a hacking incident. Worry starts to set in as you ponder what to do about the incident and how it will affect your business, its income, your employees, and your customers.

protecting your business from a cyber hackIt’s true that a cyber hack can be costly, but as an article in MSN’s Business on Main shares, a “security recovery plan” with steps to put you on the path to recovery can help ease the cost and stress of resuming normal business operations. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) further notes that such an experience “won’t have a long-lasting impact” when handled accordingly.

So what steps can you take to put your business on the road to recovery after falling victim to hackers? Below are a few best practices to consider.

Confirm that the attack occurred on your network: Get as much information as you can in terms of which systems were compromised, the IP addresses used in the hacking, and what type of attack may have occurred. Use your systems administration tools found in routers and firewalls, and check with your internet service provider or any out-of-house IT providers to see if they can offer other useful information.

Quarantine affected applications & devices: The WSJ notes that turning your entire system off may be tempting, but it is not advisable as this could potentially erase information pertinent to the recovery process. Instead, isolate and take offline only the applications, servers, computers, and other devices that have been affected. Also, identify the damages each device has incurred and take devices offline once the scope of the problem has been assessed.

Communicate with employees, customers, partners, and/or authorities: Cisco Blogs, the WSJ, and MSN all say that communication is a must if information such as social security numbers, credit card data, or other important information has been obtained by the hackers.

Report the incident & seek assistance from the appropriate authorities: In some cases, you may need to file a police report in order to collect insurance, even though police departments typically aren’t equipped to investigate a hack. Depending on what type of information was stolen in the incident, you may need to report it to a local or federal government authority. The U.S. Department of Justice has a table that can be helpful in determining which agencies you may need to contact.

Of course, one of the most important steps in dealing with a cyber hack is to protect yourself, your employees, your business, and your customers by having the right form of cyber liability insurance. Contact Lamb Financial Group at 1-866-481-5262 for more information on our cyber liability insurance offerings.

Image courtesy of Stuart

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