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How are Cyberattacks and Data Breaches Different?

The cost of cybercrime is predicted to hit $10.5 trillion by 2025, according to the latest version of the 2022 Cybersecurity Almanac by Cybersecurity Ventures. Cyberattacks occur when cybercriminals gain illegal access to electronic data stored on a computer or network. Cyberattacks target individuals and organizations for reputational damage and to harm businesses or individuals or steal valuable data. They might try to steal valuable data, inflict reputational damage on an individual, group, organization, or government, or cause harm to a business. Cyberattacks can happen first. A data breach often follows. A data breach occurs when people access information without authorization; this personal information might include Social Security numbers, passwords, financial account numbers, and more.

The breached information is sometimes sold or traded on the dark web, which could lead to identity theft. Both cyberattacks and data breaches can have an impact on your business. Damages could range from lost data on your laptop to blocked access to certain government services, depending on who carried out the attack and their motives. Attackers can include anyone from individual snoops or organized cybercriminal operations to government-sponsored groups. The best way for SMEs to stay at heard with cyber attacks is to get the necessary security expertise from a reliable MSP such as Information Security Joplin.

5 Key Steps to Regain Control During a Cyberattack

Multiethnic cyber security team developing software algorithm for information processing

In most cases, cyberattacks are just minor bumps in the road for any legitimate business. They’re not life-threatening or particularly damaging, especially if you have existing backup and recovery plans in place and know how to deal with them quickly once they happen. But if it happens to you, it can be scary while simultaneously being completely manageable. The key is to plan and prepare your company for these events, so they don’t become destructive setbacks affecting your business’ growth or reputation. If you are not entirely sure of your internal team’s ability to respond quickly and effectively to a cyber attack, consider getting the necessary support from security experts such as IT Support Joplin.

Here are the five basic steps you should take to regain a sense of control during an attack:

Take stock of the situation

To protect your business from cyberattacks, you must first identify the attack type. There are many types of cyberattacks, so you must know what kind of attack your company has been experiencing.

The next step is identifying the source of the attack. This will help determine where and how to combat it to prevent further damage and loss for your business. Without this information, it will be difficult for anyone on your staff to know how best to respond or who might be responsible for causing this issue in the first place!

The third step involves determining just how much damage has been done by these attacks and what impact they will have long-term on our organization’s reputation and financial health.

Contain the breach

Once you’ve been breached, it’s time to contain the damage. Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Stop the attack. In some cases, you may be able to stop an ongoing cyberattack before it causes damage. This may involve working with law enforcement and contacting service providers who can help mitigate your risk exposure.
  • Protect your network. You must take steps immediately after an incident to protect your business from further attacks or cyber criminals trying to reuse stolen information on your network or systems (e.g., brute force password attacks).

Have updated backups on hand

Having a backup of your data stored in multiple places is the best way to avoid losing important information if your business is ever breached. Backups should be stored in at least two locations: the cloud and a physical external hard drive. A good rule of thumb for ensuring that you have adequate backups is to back up your data at least once a week, though it’s worth noting that many experts recommend doing so more frequently.

If you don’t have an adequate backup system set up yet, start by considering which types of files would be most devastating if lost, such as financial documents like invoices or customer records; employee information like names and social security numbers; customer credit card details; employee salary information; etc. You can then prioritize these files when setting up your backups. If possible, keep one copy on-premise and another off-site (or in the cloud).

Alert the authorities

If your business has been hacked, you should notify the authorities immediately. Doing so will help ensure that the hackers are caught and can also help prevent any further damage from being done. It’s not always easy to know who to contact, but you should be in touch with the FBI and local police department if an incident happens. They may even want to interview you about what happened to understand better how this kind of thing happens and how they can prevent it from happening again in the future.

It’s also important not to try fixing things yourself; this will only put your business at risk for more problems down the line. If something happens that seems suspicious, don’t delay reporting it—there could be serious consequences if you do!

Don’t pay the ransom.

If a hacker has encrypted your data and demanded payment, you may be tempted to pay the ransom. But in many cases, paying the ransom won’t guarantee that your data will be restored. And even if it does work, there’s no guarantee that paying once will prevent future attacks or keep your business safe from attack.

For these reasons, we strongly encourage businesses not to engage with hackers or pay ransoms for stolen data. Not only is it bad for business—it can also put you at greater risk of being attacked again!

Follow these steps if a cyberattack hits your business

If a cyberattack hits you, you need to act quickly and effectively. Follow these steps:

  • Contact your bank immediately and report the fraud (if it is not apparent). You may also have to inform your insurer.
  • Use this opportunity to review the security settings on all of your devices and applications.
  • Look at what data has been stolen from you and determine how much damage this could cause if it were leaked online or sold on the dark web.
  • Change all passwords for any accounts that might have been compromised in the attack, including email accounts and social media profiles (not just business ones).

The best way to get ahead of cyberattacks is to have a cybersecurity plan before anything happens. If you’re looking for more guidance on what steps to take, IT Consulting Joplin offers comprehensive security audits and support for all types of cyber attacks.