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What To Do If Your Business Is Hacked

What To Do If Your Business Is Hacked

Truly a scary thing to consider that most businesses will be hacked, regardless of that business’ size or industry. Hacking can cause damage across all aspects of your organization. This is why it is essential to prepare in advance (You remember doing the fire drills in grade school, right?) so that the proper steps are taken if and when you need them.

Prepare Ahead of Time

We know you are reading this right now.  Stop here and start your plan.  Speak to an expert about what you will need to have in place in advance to be ready for the emergency.  Critical pieces include the technical protections and communication, strategy, who is in charge, timelines, etc.  Granted, the tips below will help a little bit if you’re already struggling through a breach event… but you would be in a much better spot by taking the initiative to be proactive in implementing your protections and enforcing best practices.  Trust us, the risks that today’s online workplace presents make these kinds of boosts necessary and a game-changer.

Contact Your IT Provider IMMEDIATELY

Your first step needs to be handling the situation at hand. While hacking on any scale is bad to experience, cutting it off as quickly as possible will serve you well. 

If your IT provider is anything like us, they are more than likely aware of something happening on your network if they are monitoring it closely. You’ll want to notify them immediately if you are suspicious of malicious activity. 

Depending on the issue, IT will take specific actions to remove the threat, mitigate the damage, and then harden your network to prevent it. Threats can sometimes be removed easily, or it could take a lot of hunting to chase down the cause of the problem if it isn’t being done proactively.

Here’s an example of a nightmare recovery scenario. IT may decide it’s best to completely wipe all affected devices before restoring them from a data backup. Doing so should remove the chance that a lingering threat could continue causing problems. We strongly recommend that you reach out to us for assistance with this. We’ve seen plenty of cases where the business goes through intense labor only to experience the same hack after everything is back online. It has to be done carefully, and it has to be done correctly, and even then, the risks are still there.

Once that’s been accomplished, you need to ensure that all of your cybersecurity protections are fully updated and that you are as secure as possible. Check your firewalls, antivirus, spam protection, everything.

Seek Out Assistance

Many small businesses place their IT issues (or, more accurately, dealing with them) on their staff members. This isn’t a good situation. It is much better to have a professional, dedicated resource to answer any questions your team has for business purposes. Like the ones we employ here at Simply IT, a solid and reliable expert can be vital to making it through these kinds of situations in the best position possible.

Be Prepared to Inform Clients and Prospects

Finally, we come to the last (but not least) part of making it through a cybersecurity incident: disclosing it. Of all of your interactions with your clientele or staff, this is the time when clarity and concision are most crucial. Bring everyone up to speed on the situation, the possible ramifications, and what needs to be done next to minimize the damage the event ultimately causes.

The hard truth is that you will ultimately lose some people when this happens. Of course, you will. While the data practices of some people in their personal lives are questionable at best, the onus is still on you if they’ve entrusted you with the same data… and they’re not wrong. This means that you are accountable and need to be open and forthcoming with anyone involved. Every state and most industries have its own rules and requirements for data privacy, so you’ll want to understand precisely how you need to handle the communication involved with a data breach disclosure based on what information was potentially breached.

For assistance with your cybersecurity protections and the rest of your IT, you can always lean on us. Learn more about our services by calling us at 215-256-7901 today.