We live in an online age. As a business owner, you rely on your computer systems to keep your company running. Unfortunately, with an increased reliance on computer networks comes the increased risk of cyber security incidents.
You might think that data breaches, stolen credit card information, and ransomware attacks won’t happen to your business, but cyber criminals target businesses of all sizes in all industries. When disaster strikes, preparation can make a major difference in how these situations play out.
Why do you need to be prepared?
You might also think that your company isn’t at risk of a cyber attack, but every business today faces the risk of a cyber attack. Cyber criminals target the information systems of any business. Annually, nearly 70% of Canadian organizations face some form of cyber attack. To guard against the threat of cyber attacks, many businesses will:
- Increase online security
- Educate employees
- Have ongoing cyber monitoring
- Stay on top of current cyber trends and threats
- Invest in cyber insurance
These actions all help mitigate your risk, but sometimes risk management isn’t going far enough. Every business also needs a cyber plan. In case of a cyber attack, this action plan can guide your company through the aftermath.
Create an Incident Response Plan (IRP)
Cyber attack preparedness means having a plan in place. An Incident Response Plan (IRP) should help your incident response team know how to respond and react in the event of a cyber incident. This plan will need to be reviewed and refined over time, but it should generally:
- Assess your business needs by considering your key assets, potential weak points, and what data is at risk. From this you can determine where to focus your plan and your security efforts.
- State which employees or departments will look after potential incidents and what each team member’s role will be. This will help you train employees in case of an attack and help them know how to react during an event.
- Set up a detection and monitoring system so you can catch malicious software as quickly as possible.
- Define the difference between a major and minor incident and lay out the different processes for each.
- Lay out recovery steps. Explain how you’re going to remove the infection and deal with the recovery actions. You’ll need to have several different scenarios laid out. Try creating general guidelines and considering the attacks you’re most likely to experience.
- Decide on your follow-up actions. How will you explain to customers that their information has been compromised? What steps will you take with employees to help education and prevent future attacks?
This is a very general outline of an IRP; you’ll need to go more in-depth based on your specific business so that your team knows exactly how to respond, no questions asked. Having this plan ensures your team can act quickly in case of a cyber attack. Remember that every business faces unique cyber risks. So make sure to take the time to consider your businesses specific risks so you can tailor your IRP to your company’s needs.
While you never want a cyber incident to occur, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Having an incident response plan in place will help your business know how to respond and help you recover from an attack much faster than you would without it.
At Alt Tech, we can help protect your business from online attacks. From around the clock monitoring to data recovery, we help give you peace of mind online. Contact us today to find out more about putting a specific IRP in place for your business.