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Five Steps to Take as Soon as You Think Your Business Has Been Attacked by a Cyber-Criminal

Five Steps to Take as Soon as You Think Your Business Has Been Attacked by a Cyber-Criminal

No one wants to find out they have been attacked by a cyber-criminal, but unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more common in today’s increasingly digital world. Attacks can come from inside your company from disgruntled employees, or from outside your business.

There are different DNS attack types that can leave your business vulnerable, as well as malware, phishing, and many other strategies that cyber criminals use to gain access to your company’s vital information. No matter what the signs, if you think your business may have been attacked by a cyber-criminal, there are certain steps you should take immediately.

Change All of Your Passwords

One of the quickest and easiest things you can do to help minimize the damage the cybercriminal can do is to change all of your passwords. This is especially important to do for administrative accounts or passwords that guard sensitive information. However, even small things, like email passwords, should be changed.

There are many tips out there on how to create a secure password. They include things like:

·        Make sure every account has a different password.

·        Longer passwords are always better than shorter passwords.

·        Use abbreviations instead of actual words that can be found in the dictionary.

·        Use capital letters, numbers, and symbols at the beginning, middle, and end of your password.

Whenever possible, you should also activate two-factor identification. That way, even if someone gains access to your password, if they don’t have access to your phone number or email address, they won’t be able to log in.

Disconnect Your Systems

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, or if you know you’ve got a lot of work to do and you aren’t quite ready to get started, it’s a good idea to disconnect your systems when you aren’t using them. This means physically unplugging your computer from the router or disabling your computer’s Wi-Fi capabilities so it isn’t connected to the internet. This will ensure that cyber criminals can’t continue to access information while you’re not using your computers or devices.

Once you’ve recovered after an attack, you may want to continue disconnecting your systems at the end of every day to prevent another attack from happening again while you’re away from the office.

Contact Digital Service Providers

You aren’t in business alone. You partner with many other companies and businesses that provide you with services, including digital services, so turn to them when you have experienced a cyber-attack.

One of your first contacts should be your internet hosting service. They can help you get your website back up and running in a secure way and they may also be able to provide you with tips on how to recover and move forward without worrying about future cyber-attacks. Payment systems providers are also important to contact, as well as any IT services you utilize. They can help you reduce the negative impacts to your business, and they can help you get back up and running as quickly as possible.

Research How the Attack Affected Your Business

It’s important to act immediately by changing passwords, unplugging computers, and contacting your digital service providers after a cyber attack, but you also have to figure out exactly how the attack affected your business. That way, you know the best way to move forward.

There are many different types of attacks, and each one can affect a business in many different ways. Whether you’re dealing with malware or a direct attack from a hacker, you could deal with network security issues, loss of data, or a breach of customer information. In such a case, customers may need to be notified if payment systems were accessed.

Implement New Preventative Measures

Once you know how the attack has affected your business, you will also learn more about the vulnerabilities of your system which enables you to implement new preventative measures that ensure it won’t ever happen again. From doing a better job of backing up your data to considering cyber security insurance to additional company training, there are many things you can do to reduce the chances of experiencing another attack.

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by Lottie Pritchard // Lottie Pritchard is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.