Nobody likes to think about the worst-case scenario: a security breach discovered months after it happened. The data is long gone, spread across the internet or among darker circles of the web and the company has no idea how much damage its customers have sustained.

Yet, it’s an all too common of an occurrence. In 2018, IBM found that the average data breach took just under six months to discover. It took another three months just to contain that breach, and 68 percent of participants reported “very serious” consequences for the breach.

Security breaches are terrifying and seemingly inevitable. With just under half of all cyberattacks targeting small businesses, nobody is exempted. Read on to learn about why hackers go after data, how to respond to a security breach, and why a managed network service provider is a smart investment.

Why Hackers Want a Company’s Data

Knowledge is power, but data has a dollar sign attached to it. In 2017, The Economist famously noted that the world’s most valuable resource isn’t oil any longer. It’s data. Like oil, the world has become completely dependent on data. Hackers want a company’s data because it:

  • Lets them steal identities or access bank accounts.
  • Can be sold to identity thieves or ransomed for more money.
  • Holds secrets into what a company is doing, planning or developing.

In the age of big data, even the smallest companies are goldmines for sensitive personal information. That makes it critical to develop robust cyber defenses and plan for a security breach.

Best Practices for Disaster Recovery After a Security Breach

Disasters are stressful events, but the way a company and its leadership respond to them can significantly impact the outcome of the situation. If a security breach has occurred, remember these tips:

  • Remain calm. According to IBM, it’s exceedingly rare that security breaches are caught while they’re happening. Less than 3 percent of companies will detect one while it occurs. Therefore, if a security breach has been discovered, take a moment to regain mental clarity to avoid making a bad situation worse.
  • Confirm that a breach actually occurred. Just like motion-sensing lights will detect both raccoons and burglars, false positives in cybersecurity do occur.
  • Assemble a dedicated incident response task force. Don’t hand out roles and responsibilities to everyone in the company. Instead, choose a handful of individuals to take charge of the incident response. This makes it easier to manage, contain, and analyze the situation.
  • Shut down all systems immediately. Don’t simply shut down only the systems which are suspected to be infected. Shut everything down and inspect each one by one.
  • Don’t ignore notification requirements. Many data laws require organizations to notify individuals if their sensitive data has become compromised within a certain time period. Don’t wait. Now is an important time to put customers first.
  • Conduct additional vulnerability testing. Businesses don’t just get hit once. Attackers may come back several times if a target proves easy and lucrative.
  • Get outside help. A third-party specialist can prove tremendously valuable in the moments following a security breach. Consider enlisting the help of managed IT services to respond to this event or improve network security moving forward.

How Managed Network Services Can Help Avoid a Future Breach

If a company has suffered a security breach and survived it, managed network services can help ensure it doesn’t happen again. Consider enlisting the help of a managed service provider to:

  • Improve overall security. Whereas many attacks might seem like new territory for a small company, there’s relatively little which a seasoned IT professional hasn’t encountered before. A managed network provider can spot blind spots and weaknesses in digital security before a hacker does.
  • Harden systems with the knowledge gained from the attack. Although stressful and costly, a security breach will return valuable knowledge which can help a company build stronger defenses.
  • Provide increased monitoring services. IBM noted in their study that the length of time to detection of a security breach decreases significantly with the help of managed services.
  • Securely back up data. Backed up data makes it easier for operations to return to normal, and harder for criminals to successfully carry out attacks involving the holding of data ransom.

Living and Learning: Surviving a Security Breach

With some 60 percent of small businesses shuttering after a cyberattack, surviving one is a feat. Companies that suffer a successful breach face mangled archives, viruses, a damaged reputation and a loss of revenue. Yet, it’s the age of cybercrime and nobody is safe. Companies, no matter how large or small, must prepare for the eventuality of a cyberattack. Nobody likes to think about it, but not preparing is a recipe for (literal) disaster.

Make sure the odds are you in your favor – enlist the services of a seasoned cybersecurity team from Edwards Business Systems. We provide managed network services to help businesses prevent a security breach. Contact us now.