Intrusion into corporate networks has become common, and unfortunately, in most cases, stakeholders only realize it too late. What can you do if you are hacked? How can we prevent another malicious intrusion?
Perhaps the most important question is who are behind the hack. In most cases, bots that scan the Internet constantly find vulnerabilities on the outside, or infecting the computers of our employees they access our devices that are connected to our vulnerable network. In the next phase of the intrusion, the automated tool is replaced by a malicious hacker, who tries to obtain as much sensitive data as possible.
Documents, databases, images, they try to copy as much data as possible. Their focus here is on copying sensitive data, meaning that the data stays exactly where it should be, but it is still compromised and got into the wrong hands. The attackers often work unnoticed and cover or hide or even confuse their tracks.
The worst case scenario is that our competitor is behind the attack, who has a financial interest in stealing our sensitive data, which sometimes explains a sudden market loss, or lost bids, or any other financial disadvantage.
What can we do?
If the hack happened, and we realized it:
Find out the extent of data breach, use the help of an external specialist if necessary. Report the data breach. Let the stakeholders know what happened. Change passwords. Conduct a security assessment. It is advised to handle the issue transparently, as this is the best way to reduce the loss of reputation.
If the hack happened, and we were notified from outside:
The worst case scenario here is that, the media discloses us about the unauthorized use of the leaked data. Unfortunately, in this case, negative news are always published about our company and we can only win back our clients with transparency.
How to protect yourself from hacking? Regular vulnerability assessments can provide continuous feedback on the state of our systems. External and internal assessments, penetration tests, audits are the tools that are recommended. It is also important to train our employees and raise their security awareness.