When we hear about large-scale breaches at giant firms, it’s hard to think that tiny businesses can be hacked. However, recent events have revealed that several large organizations have had massive data breaches due to inadequate security procedures. Unfortunately, the situation is not as it appears. Of course, assaults on small and medium-sized enterprises do not make the front pages of newspapers, but statistics show that small company websites account for more than half of all attacks.
So, what causes small firms to get hacked?
Small companies are frequently attacked because they have weak security and are thus a prime target for hackers. There is a severe issue with corporate leaders and their employees unaware of cyber threats. No company wants its data to be hacked since it would result in a loss of reputation and penalties or fines. Proper security awareness and protection will reduce the threat to the organization’s data and information systems.
What to do if a small business website is hacked?
It should be reported.
Inform your clients immediately. State laws vary in how quickly you must spread the information, but speed is critical in this case. So, unless a law enforcement investigation is underway, you should notify the data breach as soon as feasible.
You must inform each consumer in writing that:
- There has been a data breach.
- The date on which it occurred
- What sort of information was taken (credit card numbers, social security numbers, or driver’s license numbers, for example).
- More information is available at a website and a toll-free number
- Information on credit monitoring companies will keep track of any suspicious behavior on their accounts.
- What you are working to solve the problem.
Determine the root of the problem.
You must determine how the breach occurred. For example, how did the hackers get access?
The following are the most prevalent reasons for a data breach:
- Passwords that are weak or stolen are prone to hacking.
- Theft or loss of a device.
- Software and IT systems that are no longer supported.
- Using unprotected networks (like public WIFI).
- However, identifying the problem might be challenging, so you may wish to hire one if you don’t have an in-house IT professional.
After you’ve figured out the ‘how,’ you’ll need to figure out the ‘which,’ ‘what,’ and ‘who.’
You need to search for how many computers were hacked and whether any information was stolen. As a business owner, you must consider the privacy and safety of your clients and employees.
Check your state’s laws.
Make sure you’re up to speed on data breach regulations in your state. California has the most stringent laws at the moment. It also includes a template for businesses to use when telling their consumers. The amount of time you’re obligated to provide credit monitoring services to consumers varies by state. So, double-check.
The state attorney general’s office must be notified when there is a data breach involving more than 500 clients.
Make a police report.
Cybercrime, like any other crime, must be reported to authorities. So, whether the breach was triggered by device theft, an employee’s willful activity, or a hack, call the cops. The FBI urges the public to report suspected unlawful internet activity right away as part of its effort to combat cybercrime. But in reality its the opposite of what everyone expects from FBI; a faster response and justified judgement. When your hands are already complete dealing with the aftermath of a data breach, involving the authorities may seem like a waste of time.
Limit the harm.
What could be more damaging than a data breach? Unfortunately, there have been several breaches. As a result, after you’ve determined what triggered yours, you must act fast to correct the issue and limit the harm. While you tidy up, turn off your website. Next, install and run an anti-virus application. If your passwords are stolen, develop new, more complicated ones that are more difficult to crack. Infected PCs should be removed and either reformatted or replaced. Finally, if the hackers gain access due to a software weakness, you might attempt to patch the problem. One should be available from the program developer.
Rebuild and re-evaluate your security measures.
After you’ve recovered data and assets destroyed by the disaster, you’ll want to make sure you put technologies in place to prevent future attacks. You can checkout Cybersecurity Templates and Resources for small businesses available on trusted websites. First, ensure your security defenses are updated and that your data is safely backed up. Next, verify that your software and operating system are up to date and that you are receiving automatic updates and bug patches. If you haven’t already, get the help of an IT specialist to determine what security measures you should use.
Make sure you learn from your errors.
A catastrophe recovery strategy is not in place for more than half of small business owners. A business continuity plan lays out all of the measures you’ll need to follow in the event of a company interruption. You should examine your rehabilitation plan if you have one. You might also wish to update your company’s data security rules.