The internet is laden with articles stating the detrimental impact of cyber attacks. For instance, Yahoo! faced a security breach in 2014 which meant that the accounts of more than 3 billion users were at risk. Likewise, eBay was compromised that same year and the login credentials, bank account details and addresses of roughly 145 million users were exposed.
As we are firmly in the information age, lessons must be learned from the advent of cyber attacks. We will examine what these attacks have taught us below:
All Firms are Vulnerable
If we study a list of the biggest cyber attacks of the 21st century, it includes names such as the aforementioned Yahoo!, eBay and others like Marriot, JP Morgan Chase, Adobe and Sony. We can easily discern from the names mentioned that even the biggest organizations worldwide can be faced with a security threat.
Cyber attacks must be treated as a tangible threat and protocols must be put in place to avert them. If firms are not up to the task, then their names may appear in this list one day. Therefore, companies must be risk averse and take mandatory precautions before it is too late. In short, they should have a ransomware recovery plan.
Reinforcements are Critical
Reinforcements are not just limited to well defined best practices that may be exercised in case a breach takes place. It should also entail data backup. This is a tried and tested method that allows firms to recover pivotal information in case there is an infringement.
For example, several firms have disaster recovery centers in place which are useful for the storage of data. If and when a violation occurs, they can make arrangements and regain their data so that operations are not adversely affected for too long.
Immediate Reporting of Incidents
Moreover, in case of infractions, victims should report such matters to the relevant personnel or authorities at the earliest. This is vital since they will know how to respond adequately and a damage limitation exercise can begin in earnest.
In fact, the WannaCry ransomware attack, which transpired in 2017, was curtailed quickly because those affected reported the incident quickly. This meant that the attack could be immobilized before it could spread.
Also, in the aftermath of such attacks, regulatory bodies have stated that those who fail to report similar incidents in the first three days of its occurrence may face penalties, in addition to the damage they incur during the attack itself.
A scrutiny of cyber attacks that have happened in the past has shown that those who are employed at the company affected may be involved in some capacity. This could mean one of those things: a) there is deliberate theft of information or b) lack of vigilance or a genuine error may have led to a leak which was followed by a security breach.
In case of the former, human resources must do their best when they are recruiting employees. As for the latter, employees must be reprimanded if they are reckless and must be informed to be more careful, since attacks can stem from something as mundane as opening a hyperlink in an email. And ransomware recovery sessions should be held.