Successful cyber attacks are on the rise, and it’s no wonder. With so many different types of technology involved in both our personal lives and our businesses, there’s a lot to keep track of. It’s all too easy to accidentally click on a link, or authorise something on your computer because you’re rushing to get the pop-up box off your screen before a meeting. 

If you are unlucky enough to fall victim to a cyber attack, there are some steps that you can take to minimise the damage and prevent it from happening again. Let’s take a look.

Speak to your IT specialists

As a business, a cyber attack can result in several different issues – personal data being leaked, security systems compromised, websites taken over or even bank accounts being held to ransom. It’s important to act quickly when you notice that something is wrong, by contacting your IT specialists to determine the exact situation that you’re dealing with. 

They may be able to act to secure anything that hasn’t yet been compromised, and they can also tell you exactly what has changed within your internal IT systems. Once you have this information, you can come together with the relevant people to formulate a remediation plan accordingly.

Notify the police

The right course of action will depend on the country you live in, but most police forces offer some kind of way to report cyber attacks. Not only can they help you avoid being blackmailed and catch the criminals responsible, but reporting helps law enforcement keep on top of the latest scams that are happening. This can help them provide information to other businesses to avoid this happening to anyone else.

Tell stakeholders

If data has been breached, you need to let the people impacted know, as well as potentially senior management or board members. Not only is it the right thing to do, but when it comes to businesses, quick reporting can make a difference to the size of any potential fine you receive for breaking data protection rules. 

Informing senior members of the team can also help you get information out in a quick, controlled manner, rather than employees speculating on what has happened.

Train your staff to reduce risk

Once the threat is dealt with and your system is secure, you can focus on gathering information about what might have gone wrong. Whilst no one wants to be the victim of a cyber attack, it can give you valuable information about where the weaknesses lie in both your system architecture and your team’s security knowledge. 

Taking the time to train your team on what to look out for can help you build a secure line of defence against threats in the future. This may include:

  • Unrecognised programmes appearing on devices
  • Unrecognised pop-ups
  • Infection warnings on devices
  • New browser tabs appearing without action from the user
  • Devices slowing down for no clear reason
  • Losing control of the keyboard or mouse
  • Difficult controlling the device – for example, not being able to shut it down

You should also cover preventative measures such as creating strong passwords, updating device software, backing up your data and having up-to-date antivirus protection.

It can be hard to think clearly in the wake of a cyber attack, as it is a stressful time. But by taking clear action and reducing the risk of future issues, you’ll be moving your company forward in a positive way.

This post was supplied to by Marissa Fletcher