How to Respond to a Small Business Cybersecurity Incident

Imagine it's the end of a busy workweek and you're getting ready to head home for the weekend. However, just as you're about to step out the door, you find out your email password has been hacked and critical data has been stolen from your business. As a small business, you might have to deal with similar situations caused by email phishing attacks, ransomware, malware, or any other cybersecurity threat.

But the question is, do you have a plan in place to respond fast and effectively to minimize the effect an attack will have on your business?

 

Remember, the longer it takes you to address an incident, the more harm hackers can do to your business, like severe data loss and damage to your bottom revenues and public reputation.

 

That’s why, in addition to having strong cybersecurity measures in place, you need to have an incident response plan to fall back on as well. Order is everything when it comes to your response post breach.

 

An incident response plan is a series of steps that can be put in place after a breach to reduce its impact and get the business back up and running as soon as possible.

 

Cyber Incident Response Planning 101

 

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a proper incident response plan has five phases:

 

Identify

There are multiple security risks to be conscious of to create the best incident response plan for your business. This includes threats to your technology systems, data, and operations, among other things. Understanding these risks allows you to be prepared to respond to incidents and reduce their impact.

 

To identify risks, you can start by looking at system logs, examining vulnerable files or tracking suspicious employee activity.

 

Protect

It’s critical to create and implement appropriate safeguards to protect your business. Safeguards include security measures to guard against threats and steps to ensure the continuity of essential services in the event of an incident.

 

To protect your business against cyberthreats and attacks, you can use backups, implement security controls such as firewalls, and train employees on security best practices with cyber security training. (Head over to https://bulletproof.tekiegeek.com to sign up for our month of free cybersecurity training)

 

Detect

Quickly detecting irregularities, such as unusual network activity or someone attempting to access sensitive files or company data, is essential to limit the destruction and get your systems back up and running faster.

 

Deploying techniques such as an intrusion detection system (IDS) and advanced breach monitoring is an effective way to tackle irregularities.

 

Respond

You need to have a plan in place to respond to detected cyber incidents after they’ve already occurred. This plan should include strategies for breach containment, investigation and resolution.

 

A couple things you can do to respond to an incident are isolating affected systems and cutting off connections and access to every impacted system, as to not spread the effects to other systems and endpoints.

 

Recover

Following an incident, you must have a plan in place to resume normal business operations as soon as possible to minimize disruption.

 

These steps can be part of your recovery plan:

  • Restoring systems that have been affected by the attack
  • Implementing security controls to prevent the incident from happening again
  • Investigating the reason that the breach even happened in the first place
  • Taking legal action against perpetrators

 

Keep in mind that a well-crafted incident response plan will help you resolve a breach, minimize the damage caused and restore normal operations quickly and effectively. It’s critical to ensure that your team is aware of the incident response plan ahead of time and know their roles and responsibilities during the attack.

 

An incident response plan should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that it remains relevant and effective, taking considerations towards new technologies that’ve been implemented since your initial plan creation. Cyber incidents can occur at any time, so it’s crucial to be prepared at all times. No excuses.

 

Collaborate with an IT Service Provider to Ramp Up Your Defenses

A managed service provider like Tekie Geek may be exactly what your business needs to develop an incident response plan that can stand the forces of the cyberattacks of today. By employing our expertise and experience, we can help you:

 

·        Protect your business against cyber incidents

·        Create a comprehensive incident response plan

·        Abide by NIST's five phases of incident response

 

These are just a few of the ways we can help you with your incident response journey. If you're looking for help protecting your company against cyberattacks and data breaches, be sure to contact us to schedule a no-obligation consultation!

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