What to Do if Your Business is Hacked

Top tips from managed IT services provider NetGain Technologies’ senior data security expert Scott Logan

Lexington, Ky. (April 25, 2013) – Despite assuming that they are safe from cyber attacks due to their size, small businesses are increasingly the targets.

According to the Wall Street Journal, 87% of small business owners assume they are safe and nearly as many have no protocols in place for protection or a post-breach plan.

“It’s because of their size and perceived lack of resources that these businesses are targeted.” explained Scott Logan, Senior Data Security Expert at NetGain Technologies. “They often have just as much valuable information. These businesses need to know that the resources are out there to protect their assets.”

If you find your business is hacked, here are the top three things that you should do:

1.) Determine what was compromised. Working quickly and effectively, find out what happened, including how the hackers got in. Try to pinpoint which computers and accounts were compromised and what data was accessed or stolen. You may need to obtain the services of a company with expertise in cyber security to help determine the scope of the breach.

2.) Alert the authorities. This includes local police as well as the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint center. They can help to determine what types of investigation should be done as well as what enforcement or regulatory agencies have jurisdiction over the matter.

3.) Eliminate and Remediate. To limit the damage, you may need to take disruptive and costly steps, such as removing infected computers or even shutting down while you clean up. However, if your equipment is part of an investigation, ask before shutting down and disconnecting, as this could impede the reconnaissance. Simple measures like running antivirus cleaners may not be enough; you should consider reformatting hacked computers and restoring data with clean backups, or replacing the infected computer completely. If hackers successfully exploited a software flaw, there may be software patches that are available to remove the exploit or even implement a recommended workaround. If the hacker stole passwords, you should secure your accounts and set new, complex passwords that will be difficult to crack. Your IT staff or IT service provider should be able to assist in these areas.

If you find that you are in over your head, consider bringing in an outside expert. This includes I.T. companies that can help determine the best course of action for your organization. This can include hiring legal counsel to determine what reporting obligations you have.

If your business has not yet been attacked, consider the impact and likelihood. The impact is likely devastating and the likelihood is probably higher than you realize. Take time to review your organization’s current security policies and measures.

Determine whether you have the proper intrusion defenses in place, such as firewalls, activity logs and monitoring. Ensure that operating systems, software and antivirus measures are in place to protect from exploits and that they are being updated on schedule. Finally, have a security assessment completed against your environment annually or as necessary if your industry has compliance mandates.

“Taking the time to review these measures can go a long way in preventing a devastating attack. And if you are attacked, they will still demonstrate good intent, which can offer some protection,” explained Logan.

“Most importantly, be prepared. If you have a plan in place, it can truly mitigate the damage and the cost.”


About NetGain Technologies:

NetGain Technologies is a leading provider in the design, procurement, implementation and management of high-performance IT solutions. With services ranked among the best in the world by MSPmentor and CRN Tech Elite, a multi-state regional footprint and a three decade pedigree; we’ve helped thousands of unique clients thrive by leveraging our best-in-class service and support programs.

Related Posts