It finally happened. You let down your guard for a split second too long. Before you even realize what’s happening – you become the victim of a hack.
Hacks disrupt business. But once hackers have access to your information, the risks multiply. Consider the technology that surrounds your daily life – smart locks at your home, a computer system that controls your car, and smart appliances all around your home and office.
For small business owners especially, this can be devastating and frightening. But dwelling on what you could’ve, would’ve, or should’ve done won’t change what’s already happened.
Instead, it’s time to focus on your next steps.
Here is what to do if your network is hacked.
6 Steps To Take If Your Network Is Compromised By A Hacker
If you get hacked…Stay calm and take these 6 steps. At this point, there’s no changing the past to prevent the hack. But you can move forward to regain control and make better choices for your network security moving forward.
Want to have confidence in your business’s IT capabilities and cybersecurity? Contact BITS today to get started!
1. Contact Your Bank ASAP
Money matters. And if you rely on your hard earned money to keep your business running and for other important things like rent or mortgage, groceries, and even your daughter’s ballet classes – you don’t want someone else stealing your money.
Since a majority of hackers do what they do for financial gain, it’s best to assume that is what’s going on. The first thing you should do is contact your financial institutions. Let them know your information has been compromised and to put a hold on all of your accounts. Additionally, use online banking features to put a hold on cards when available.
Make sure to change all your banking passwords. But don’t use the same password for all of them! In fact, each password should be different.
2. Change All Your Passwords
Whether or not a password is to blame for your compromised information, in this case you want to assume the worst.
Change all your passwords. Each one should be unique. Moreover, your passwords shouldn’t be easy to guess. This means no pet names (your animals or the nicknames between you and your spouse), no birthdays, and no addresses (yes, this includes your great, great, great uncle’s ancestral home).
Think of it this way, your personal information is likely somewhere on the internet. Maybe from a Facebook post you made 18 years ago, a survey you answered one day at work, or something interesting you had to share at an ice breaker meeting – if it’s out there, the hackers are looking for it. And as they piece together random bits of information about your life, you can be sure they will use everything they’ve got to break into your network and take you for everything.
3. Report The Hack To Your MSP
Your managed service provider (MSP) will likely know about your hack before you do. After all, part of their job is to monitor your network(s) so you don’t have to.
However, if you notice something suspicious, let them know. It’s not worth the risk to assume they know and are already on top of it.
Once your MSP is aware that you’ve been hacked, they can start working to secure your network.
Ready to have a reliable MSP in your corner? Contact us today to get started!
4. Identify The Hacker’s Entry Point
Knowing how a hacker gained access to your network is so important. While this may fall into the realm of focusing on the past, this is one step you don’t want to miss.
After all, you want to ensure that a hacker won’t be successful with the same hacking attempt a second time around.
However, the hacker’s entry point could be a number of things. This is why it’s so important to work with a good MSP who can take proactive measures before a hack has the chance of occurring.
Moreover, the entry point could be human error. Not only should passwords be strong, but they should also be secure. For instance, writing a password on a sticky note and leaving it visible is a major risk.
You never know who is secretly moonlighting as a hacker in their spare time. So don’t be so trusting! Yes, even the water delivery guy that you’ve been trading holiday gifts with for the past 5 years or the friendly receptionist down the hall. Pleasantries are not worth your network security or business’s potential success.
5. Patch Network Vulnerabilities
Have you heard in the news about a major tech company releasing patches? This is a bit of information you should not ignore!
If you’re not working with an experienced MSP, your business network likely has insecure ports and other vulnerabilities. However, the vendors of the various types of defensive software available are constantly trying to seal those weak spots.
Make a point to talk with your MSP to ensure you are utilizing every available patch for your software. Furthermore, make sure your defensive software updates regularly so you never miss a patch again.
6. Restore Backups (Hopefully They’re In The Cloud)
There’s nothing like a data breach to convince die hard in-house server fans to switch to cloud computing. Restoring data backups with the cloud can eliminate downtime. Otherwise, you could be looking at hours, days, or even weeks of downtime or struggling to recreate everything you lost.
However, restoring backups from the cloud after a data breach is only useful if you’re already using the cloud. Plus, there are so many more benefits to the cloud!
For instance, small businesses that were using the cloud had a much easier transition to remote work during stay-at-home orders. This is because the cloud is accessible to authorized users from literally anywhere in the world – as long as you have an internet connection.
Moreover, the cloud is safer! A robber can’t break into your business and walk out with a cloud server. Although, they could do so with your in-house server. And when it comes to natural disasters, in-house servers can’t even begin to compare to cloud servers.
Your cloud server won’t be damaged in a fire or flood. However, your in-house server (and all your data) would likely be destroyed in either of those instances.
Move Past Hacks & Take Proactive Security Measures With BITS
Don’t wait until a hack disrupts your small business to start taking steps to protect yourself, your employees, and your business.
Brooks IT Services provides comprehensive IT services to small business owners like you without breaking the bank. We understand small business needs, vulnerabilities, and budgets. So we can get you the IT services you need for a secure and optimized network at a price you can afford.