Emergency Actions After a Hacking Incidence

Technological solutions are crucial for businesses to thrive in today’s highly competitive environment. Companies use sensitive and personal customer information to realize data-driven business models.

At the same time, hackers continue targeting enterprises to breach critical systems, steal data, and due to monetary gains. Currently, attacks on financial organizations have increased by 238% since the outbreak of coronavirus. Also, 80% of companies have reported a rise in cyber-attacks. Ransomware attacks had risen by 600% as of March 2020. Reputable companies, such as Marriott hotel chains and Nintendo, have been victims of cyber-attacks in 2020. Attacks on the former affected more than 5 million customers, while at least 300,000 Nintendo user accounts were hacked. Understanding emergency actions following a hacking incidence can reduce or prevent adverse impacts.

Initiate incident response measures

The first course of action is to respond to the hacking incidence once it is detected. Companies should use the incident response procedures to contain the attack and prevent further damage. An incidence response plan allows the evaluation of breached systems, stolen or corrupted data, and the identification of the root causes. Some of the measures to consider include disconnecting from the internet and corporate network, isolating the affected platform/service, and revoking access to all resources until the incidence is contained.

Understand motivations behind the incidence

A variety of factors can motivate hackers to target a business. These could be financial gains, accessing crucial information like intellectual property, revenge, or insider threats. While figuring out the reasons can be challenging during a stressful hacking scenario, they inform suitable measures for stopping and preventing the attack. Besides, it enables the affected organization to embark on the recovery journey.

Reset all credentials

Resetting credentials, such as usernames, passwords, and recovery accounts, should be a priority following a hacking incidence. Passwords provide the first line of defense, and a hacktivist incidence means cyber adversaries could have compromised them. Reset passwords of all services, even if only a single platform has been compromised. It is vital to create new, secure passwords since reusing old passwords exposes a company to recurring attacks. Ensure that all devices and account users sign out upon resetting to ensure the new passwords become effective immediately.

Inform everyone

Establishing the real intentions of a cyber-attack can be a daunting task. Therefore, it is pertinent to spread the word to all parties once a hacking incident has been detected. These include law enforcement and legal authorities, supply chain partners, customers, friends, among others. Attackers can use a breached network or account to spread malice to other organizations or individuals. Alerting them permits them to detect and report suspicious events that indicate attempted hacking attempts.

Beef up cyber defenses

Many victims often want to move on quickly after containing a hacking incidence and fail to implement measures for enhancing security. After identifying the root causes of the data breach, it is essential to deploy robust controls to avoid a recurrence in the future. Also, victims should strengthen the security of non-affected services using industry-standard practices to enhance information security.

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