1. Don’t Panic & Act Fast
Many businesses before you have fallen foul of a cyber breach and many more will after you. For the vast majority of these businesses (in fact, virtually of all of them) a cyber breach alone would not be the end of their business.
A cyber breach will cost you time, it may cost you money and it may impact your reputation, however if you deal with the situation sensibly and quickly you can reduce the negative impact that it might have.
Knowing that your business has been hacked may be very obvious but there are a number of things to look out for that could suggest you have been hacked, or are in the process of being hacked. Some activity is only ever likely to be spotted by specialised software or IT experts who understand what they are looking for, however everyone should be cautious if they spot any of the following…
- Reports from colleagues or close contacts that they have received emails from you with attachments or links to files
- The inability to access files on your PC/laptop or on the company network, especially if they are accompanied by messages mentioning “ransomware” or similar
- Emails reporting login attempts to your accounts at times, or from locations, that were not you
- Changes to data in your internal systems, particularly changes to financial systems and payment details
- Repeated and unexpected browser or system popups
- Internet searches being redirected when you know you’ve typed in the correct address
If, for any of the reasons above, or for any other reason at all, that you suspect that you have been the victim of a cyber attack then it’s important to get an IT and cyber security specialist involved quickly.
Assuming you have an internal IT team or an IT support partner then you need to inform them of the situation, with as much detail, as quickly as possible.
If you don’t have an internal team or an IT support partner, then you will need to find someone to help who can offer cyber attack remediation work as soon as possible. However, it’s worth noting that having an IT partner in place before a cyber breach happens will save valuable time in terms of getting access to your systems and being able to deal with any issues that have been caused.