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3 Basic Steps to Mitigate Loss During a Cyber Security Attack

Falling victim to a cyber attack can be devastating for businesses of any size. Data breaches compromise customer and business data, often resulting in substantial financial losses and a damaged reputation. In fact, over 60% of small businesses are forced to shut their doors after just one attack.1

If you believe your business is the target of a cyber attack, there are a few steps you can take to help mitigate loss and strengthen your network security. Read on for the three basic steps small businesses should take during a cyber security breach.


Step #1: Take Action

As soon as you suspect a data breach, take immediate action to prevent cyber criminals from doing even more damage. We recommend the following:

  • Change passwords for every device and user account connected to the network. Doing so will help thwart the attacker from getting further into your organization and accessing other sensitive data. 

  • Determine how the breach occurred so you know which areas of your network need more protection. Was there a missed software update, or did an employee make an error? Determining the cause of the breach will highlight the security practices you should prioritize.

  • Notify any outsourced IT providers your business works with for extra support during a stressful time. However, if you’re outsourcing your IT, your provider should notify you – not the other way around. 


Step #2: Investigate the Damage

After taking action to secure your network during an attack, it’s time to investigate the extent of the damage. If the breach affected more than one employee’s email account or computer, you’ll need to check for data loss and restore your backups. If you’ve kept your backups up-to-date (and the attack didn’t impact them), your IT team can reduce downtime and get business operations up and running again quickly.


Step #3: Cover Your Bases

Once the dust has settled, look into the regulations regarding breach notification and follow them carefully. This step is critical, especially since fines for failing to notify those affected by the breach can be significant in some industries. Generally speaking, you should alert anyone whose data was compromised so they can be on the lookout for security breaches or further attacks.

Here are a few other considerations your company should address:

  • Since employees are the most common factor behind cyber attacks – a shocking 95% of data breaches result from human error2 – investing in cyber security training should be a top priority.

  • A comprehensive cyber insurance policy is a must-have if your organization isn’t already covered. 

  • If your business operations are off-track due to a lack of backups, it’s time to develop a disaster recovery plan.


Protect Your Business With Xceptional Security

While these steps can help your business bounce back from a cyber security attack, following them is the bare minimum. If you believe a hacker is targeting your network or you’ve fallen victim to a ransomware attack, you should consult with your IT provider immediately. As IT professionals, they should have the expertise to advise and support you through the attack and help you shore up any security gaps to ensure your network stays protected in the future.

Xceptional can help if you’re struggling to find the best tools to secure your network. Contact us today to explore our cyber security managed services and experience Xceptional value for yourself.