How to Prepare for an Expensive Cybersecurity Incident

Industry experts say: Facing a cybersecurity attack is not a matter of IF, but rather, WHEN. Even minor cybersecurity incidents can have devastating effect on the financial, reputational and operational success of an enterprise.

Cyber criminals are aware that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often have a small security budget and can be easy targets. Low grade hackers and bad actors have a much greater chance of successfully infiltrating an organization with low-funded security solutions and minimal resources.

Data breaches can impact a company’s reputation in a multitude of ways — negative word of mouth conversation, damage to customer loyalty and trust, preference for competitor services and a loss of business, not to mention bad press and amplification through online chatter.

Large and small businesses alike retain counsel as a best practice when dealing with a cybersecurity incident. While hourly attorney rates vary case-by-case, they tend to be around $650.00 per hour. Legal fees can add up quickly.

It is a known fact that operational downtime faced during a cybersecurity incident will result in financial loss; however, the extent of impact may be a big surprise to SMB customers.

To prepare a business for a cyber incident, their Incident Response Plan should be current and practiced again and again through a Tabletop Exercise, as the possibilities of how things can go wrong are truly endless. If a formal Incident Response Plan is not in place, one should be created as soon as possible. Next, businesses should perform a Gap Analysis to compare their current performance with their desired, expected performance.

The number one compromise method of 2020? Ransomware.

Without viable, air gap backups, you are quite literally putting your business into the hands of cyber criminals.
• Regularly create and test backups.
• Be completely familiar with the backup restoration process.
• Most importantly, ensure that backups are stored off-network and are protected by appropriate security measures, so that bad actors cannot gain access and alter your backups in any way.

The good news? You are not alone.

Engaging a cybersecurity consultant or Managed Cybersecurity partner is a great way to introduce security-specific expertise into your business. Managed Cybersecurity Specialists are often privy to best practices and industry trends of the moment, so they will be able to offer new insight regarding what is currently state-of-the-art in the cyber world.

Cyber-attacks and breaches are costly. While the up-front costs of implementing cybersecurity capabilities seem expensive, they will – in the long run – save your organization a significant amount of money. Proactive, managed cybersecurity investments are imperative for companies that want to thrive in today’s complex and dangerous cyber landscape.

At IDT, we’re here to proactively protect our clients from cyber-attacks and bring them peace of mind. If you’d like to learn more, reach out to our team of experts.