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Quzara LLCJan 25, 20233 min read

How to Respond to a Cyber Attack?

A cyber attack can devastate your company's finances, reputation, and operations. When a data breach strikes, it's easy to wonder about the steps to take to minimize the fallout.

Every second counts after a breach; it's crucial to have an action plan ready & respond as quickly as possible to minimize damage while following the appropriate legal guidelines. Your cyber attack response will depend on the type of attack.

The most common types of attacks include:

  • Device theft
  • Ransomware attacks
  • Baiting using malware
  • Phishing: where attackers try to access sensitive information by using email fraudulently

Cyber attacks are getting more sophisticated by the day, which means your IT team should be prepared to act promptly in the event of a data breach.

Steps To Take During a Cyber Attack

Once you've detected an attack, you should stay calm and approach the data breach event procedurally. If you have cyber insurance, your provider may offer experts to walk you through the proper response steps.

Otherwise, you need to have an existing response plan to follow. You can proceed as follows:

Step 1: Alert All Your Staff

Communicate with relevant staff about the attack as soon as you identify how you were hacked − This primarily includes your technical team. Alert your customer support team as well since they're on the frontline, dealing with complaints and complicated requests that follow an attack.

Provide instructions on what the staff should do after the breach. Your guidelines can include instructions on how your other staff can respond.

Step 2: Examine the Attack Forensics

Your incident response team should work to uncover the source of the data breach or attack and identify which data is affected.

Examining the attack involves scanning file systems for malware and identifying the infection type you've fallen victim to. Your security team should also help determine the risk of a data breach.

After establishing an attack vector, you should update your security controls to prevent further infection or reinfection.

Step 3: Contain the Threat

After establishing how attackers got into your system, you'll need to contain the attack to prevent further damage. Cyber attacks like malware infection are like forest fires and will quickly spread unless you take steps to contain them. 

Threat containment includes separating affected components of the system and testing all systems to ensure they're operational. You'll also need to rectify any compromised system before returning every component online.

Step 4: Seclude the Attack-Related Components Areas

Secure the physically attacked components and lock them down from everyone except the response team. The components include all the systems and devices associated with the attack, such as:

  • Laptops
  • Servers
  • Storage devices

Secure the affected devices until you have resolved the cyberattack incident. Clarify with the law enforcement or forensic team about when to resume using the devices.

Step 5: Update Your Security Controls

You need to patch the vulnerabilities in your system to prevent further exploitation. Scrutinize your data security system to identify potential security loopholes and patch them up.

Cyber attack mechanisms are getting more complex, which means you need to update your systems to keep off similar attacks. To stay protected, you should always have the latest patch definition or software release. If your system includes third-party software with vulnerabilities, uninstall it.

Step 6. Assess The Damage

Take a holistic approach to capture the full range of consequences of the cyber attack. Examine the economic costs arising from:

  • Corporate data theft
  • Financial information theft
  • Downtime costs
  • Loss of business or contract
  • Reputational damage 
  • Loss of sales
  • Profit reduction
  • Customer loss

Step 7: Hire a Cybersecurity Expert to Protect Your Business

After containing an attack, you must stay vigilant. You can never be sure whether it was an isolated incident or part of a bigger breach against your business.

You can hire a cybersecurity expert like Quzara Cybertorch to deploy modern threat monitoring security to detect, report, and fix any vulnerabilities in your system. That way, your organization can focus on mission-centric activities without worrying about getting attacked.

Quzara Cybertorch Can Guide You on How to Respond to Cyber Attacks

Fending off cyberattacks require constant threat monitoring, vulnerability management across environments, and security orchestration. However, cybercriminals are constantly reinventing sophisticated attack vectors making every organization vulnerable.

Any organization can get hacked but what matters most is how well a firm can respond to an attack. At Quzara Cybertorch, our security analysts can offer remediation across all infrastructure types. We've helped many US organizations with cyber security and can help you too.

Contact us today for incident response support.

Image Credit: solarseven / Shutterstock