What Do You Do If Your Small Business Gets Hacked?
Dan Levenson May 30, 2017
The latest wave of cyber attacks have put many small business owners on edge—and rightfully so. According to Small Biz Trends, 43% of cyber attacks were targeted at small businesses as of 2016. And 2017 has already seen a number of alarming attacks across the world.
What if next time, it happens to you?
Despite your best preparations, you can’t always prevent your business from being hacked—but you can be sure that you’re prepared.
1. Restore your systems as fast as you can.
Whether you’ve been locked out of your vital data by a ransomware attack or your website has been brought down by a denial of service attack, you want to get back to normal functionality for your customers as soon as possible.
Having solid backups of your data is one of the most critical ways to make this happen. You should also have a backup plan in place that will allow you to bring your business operations up remotely, keeping functionality as smooth as possible while you work out what’s happened and how it will continue to impact your business.
2. Take advantage of your cyber insurance.
With so many companies facing dramatic consequences from cyber attacks, cyber insurance is a logical investment for your business. Being hacked carries costs that add up fast. Cyber insurance will help you recover from the attack and get your business back to normal sooner.
The company you get your insurance through will likely also provide you with an attorney who will help you navigate the complicated waters of rebuilding customer trust and handling legal obligations following the incident.
3. Discover the full ramifications of the attack.
How many machines were impacted? What data was stolen? Are there any programs or files that you are unable to access? It’s difficult to bring your business back to normal before you completely understand the ramifications of the attack and how it will continue to impact you later.
4. Contact your customers.
This is particularly critical if you’re dealing with private customer information that may now be in the hands of hackers. Letting your customers know what’s happened and what you’re doing to deal with it is critical to maintaining their confidence and keeping them protected.
5. Trace it to the source.
How did the hackers get into your business? Were you the victim of a social engineering scam, or did they gain access through a third party? By learning how hackers gained access to your business data, you stand better odds of closing up the security holes so that future attacks don’t get in the same way.
Tracing your attack to its source may also help you discover what steps you need to take to make your business safe again. Do you need to shut down an infected machine and remove it from the network? Is there a program in need of a software patch or update? Understanding where the attack originated and how it has spread will help determine the steps you need to take in the future.
6. Learn from your mistakes.
It’s not just about patching software holes or removing an infected machine. It’s also about learning what caused the breach and taking steps to prevent a future one.
Do you need better training for employees on how to recognize phishing scams? Is your company in desperate need of an update policy that keeps all of your software updated?
As you learn from your mistakes, you’ll discover that you can create a tighter security net that will go further towards protecting your business.
When a cyber attack hits your business, you need to be prepared. If you’re in need of cyber insurance that will help protect you if your business is hacked, contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and how they can help you weather a cyber attack.