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The World Wide Web is the new frontier, but unlike unexplored territory on the Â distant moons, thereâ€™s already a massive crowd of people exposing themselves to its unknown risks. So if youâ€™re a business owner there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure. Cyber threats are primarily effective because many businesses donâ€™t understand how to prepare for them. Here are some suggestions:
- Know Your Network. Make sure you understand how all the machines in your network communicate. Identify bottlenecks and single points of failure.
- Have a Disaster Response Plan. Create regular backups of your data and store them offsite on a machine that does not communicate with your primary network. Understand how to restore your system from these backups quickly in the case of an emergency.
- Educate Your Team. Human ignorance is the vulnerability that most cyber threats take advantage. Make sure your team knows how to spot phishing attacks and avoid suspicious emails and attachments.
- Have Security Software. Proactive threat detection that uses heuristics allows modern security vendors to identify threats even when they are brand new. Many security suites offer a number of additional features to help protect your networkâ€™s integrity or report a detected threat.
Keep your team informed about how to identify possible threats, and keep your system under tight surveillance â€” the combination of these actions is an effective way to protect your companyâ€™s data. But what if you are attacked anyway?
If your security software or your personnel have reported an attack on your network, hereâ€™s what to do:
- Isolate the Threat. Locate the machine where the threat was detected and remove its access to your network. Leaving it connected could allow the threat to move to other machines, which can quickly drive up the work involved to mitigate the scenario.
- Harden Your Network. Make sure that all devices on your network are using up-to-date software. If a security solution is in place, make sure it’s allowed to receive the latest updates on new threats.
- Have a Response Plan. Your PR team should have a communications plan ready, particularly if your organization handles sensitive information. You should also have a security firm on hand with forensics experts who can trace the origin of the threat, analyze the extent of the damage to your system and advise you on how to clean your system and avoid similar threats moving forward.
- Contact Authorities. . Know how to contact your closest Law Enforcement officer and begin an investigation. Collect log files and other diagnostic information from your network if possible, for submission. Doing so might keep this from happening to others.
Communication is key. There are a number of commercially available technologies that let you monitor network resources for signs of an event. Once you notice something, engage the right people inside and outside of your organization quickly to achieve the fastest resolution.Done right, you can avoid the shame many high-profile companies have had to endure