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Detection & Reaction are Key When Dealing with a Cyber Attack


As a small business owner with an active website, you are probably concerned about a cyber attack. Unfortunately, you have good reason to worry. As Business News Daily notes, while the big breaches such as Target make the news, small businesses are a favorite of hackers. For example, small businesses have a stronger online presence than a single person, but they tend to have far less security than larger companies.

In order to make sure that your company isn’t destroyed by hackers, it’s important to have not only certain precautions in place, but also a rock solid response and plan in place should the worst happen. Consider the following precautions and responses:

Keep your software up to date and segment your networks

When you get a notification that your antivirus software is about to expire, don’t blow it off — take action and update your system. Hackers are always on the lookout for security weak spots, so staying on top of security applications will reduce your chances of being a target.

In addition, take steps to segment your network, which means making sure your point of sale data traffic is not the same as your Wi-Fi system and other connections.

Practice your response plan

Similar to fire drills, you should also practice your hacking incident response plan on a regular basis. This will help ensure that your employees are on board with what they need to do in the event of a security breach. Practicing ahead of time will help expose weaknesses in your response plan and will allow you to tweak it now, instead of in the middle of a crisis.

Gather knowledge and information

As Network World notes, the most critical time in a security breach investigation is the first 24 to 48 hours. Get right to work determining which computers were impacted, how they were hacked and what sensitive data may have been stolen. The more specific information you have about what has been hacked, the better you’ll be able to work with authorities and remediate the problem.

If you have a company attorney, call him or her to report the breach; your attorney can also advise you on how and when you need to report the issue to your customers.

Break the news to your customers and vendors

After you have a good handle on how bad the breach was, it’s time to take the proverbial bull by the horns and inform your customers. What you want to avoid is having your valued clients hearing about the breach from another source such as the media.

Accept responsibility for the cyber attack, apologize sincerely and assure your customers and vendors that you are doing all you can to solve the issue and handle any consequences that will arise from the hacking.

Work to restore trust

Once the dust has settled, it is vital to do everything you can to rebuild the trust your customers have in you and your company. A great way to do this is to invest in the Data Breach Solutions plan from LifeLock. A dedicated Data Breach Relationship Manager from the company will work directly with you during the cyber attack, helping to minimize any losses and protecting your company and its data from further issues.

Your Relationship Manager will also help you avoid unnecessary cost and communicate with your customers in a way that will set their minds at ease and encourage them to want to do business with you again.

Posted on March 18th, 2016 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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