How To Know If You're Already Under Cyber Attack

PublisherSol Minion Developmenthttps: Cybersecurity incident responsesmall businessdata security

There’s a strange phenomenon going on with small businesses in America. Most are not worried about a cybersecurity breach, believe they can overcome an attack, and don’t even have a cybersecurity plan! The scary part of all of that is that 60% of businesses that get attacked don’t survive. And an attack can go on for months before the business is even aware of it. Just think about your sensitive data, like intellectual property and financial information, ending up in the wrong hands. What if your customers found their usernames, passwords, or credit card info on the internet, and the leak is connected to your business?

If your business is one that wants to be ready to fend off an attack and react to an ongoing attack, then it’s important to know if you’re already under cyber attack. Here are the key signs, along with our recommendations on how to react.

Signs Your Company Is Experiencing An Active Cyber Attack

First of all, 53% of cyber attacks occur without the business even being aware of it at all! (Source). So, how can you quickly identify an attack before it does even more damage?

Here are four signs that you may be experiencing a breach:

  1. Phishing Emails: Your employees are getting phishing emails -- emails that look like they come from an official source, like a bank or vendor, but are actually designed to trick employees into giving up sensitive information or access to internal systems.

  2. A Slow Network: Your network starts to get bogged down, causing frustration. That can be a sign that data is being uploaded onto the attackers’ servers.

  3. Password Updates: You're seeing more password resets or updates, including unsolicited requests for password changes.

  4. Data Missing: Large chunks of data can go missing during an attack, as it’s wiped off of your storage.

Those signs of a cyber attack listed above are the hidden signs that your employees need to be aware of. There can be explicit signs, such as a ransomware attack alerting you to the situation, your mouse pointer starts moving around on its own, or pop-ups showing up making demands.

What To Do If You Suspect A Cyber Attack

If you notice any of the above signs that your systems may be under attack, take these actions:

  1. Send Out Alerts: Let your whole team know what’s going on and how to react. This might include those outside the organization depending on what you find, including customers and vendors.

  2. Updates: Make sure all of your software is updated to the latest versions, including your entire software stack.

  3. Change Passwords: Update your passwords and make them good, strong passwords.

  4. Go Offline: Take any affected system -- hardware or software -- offline until you can reset things and ensure a new layer of protection gets installed.

  5. Identify and Fix The Opening: Find out how the attackers got in and patch up that hole.

  6. Begin Your Attack Audit: You will need to identify the damage and the cause so that you can start planning your remediation.

Cybersecurity Planning

It might feel like a dollar short and a day late once you know an attack is underway, but having a good cybersecurity plan in place can help keep these nightmares at bay, mitigate your risks of an attack, and minimize any damage should one occur.

Learn more about what we do and download our free Cybersecurity Checklist.