Prepare, prevent, and when necessary, respond. As stand-up comedian Steven Wright once famously said “Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.”
It is important to be prepared before an incident occurs so that you and your employees know how to respond. Acting immediately will empower you to contain or reduce the impact of the attack. Cybersecurity awareness and response planning is critical.
In this post, we’ll discuss these 3 core aspects of a cyber-attack response plan:
- How to Identify a Cyber Attack
- The Most Common Types of Cyberattacks
- The Critical Steps in an Incident Response Plan
Microman, a managed IT services company in Central Ohio, has been protecting computer networks, users, and sensitive business information for over 30 years. Our diverse client base includes law firms, health care providers, long-term care facilities, construction companies, real estate firms, and more.
We’re not intimidated by cyberattacks, and neither are our clients.
What is a cyber-attack?
“A cyberattack is a malicious and deliberate attempt by an individual or organization to breach the information system of another individual or organization. Usually, the attacker seeks some type of benefit from disrupting the victim’s network.”
Cyberattacks can come from a variety of sources and they have numerous purposes. Attackers can range from government agencies engaging in cyber warfare, to individual hackers looking to extort small business owners.
The most common types of attacks that are used to exploit unsuspecting businesses:
- Denial of Service (DoS and DDoS)
The motivation behind attacks on businesses is almost always financial gain.
According to the Verizon 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report Phishing is by far the most common type of cyberattack in actual breaches.
The attacker normally uses a spurious message that’s intended to entice the target to reveal critical information directly, unwittingly install malware, or click through to a fraudulent website.
Malware refers to malicious software programs that attackers want to install on the target company’s systems and networks. The goal of phishing scams is quite often to use the target to unknowingly install malware, or to gain access to systems by harvesting the target’s login credentials, access privileges, etc.
Ransomware is a common form of malware that we discussed extensively in a previous blog post. The post will give you some excellent tips on phishing and ransomware prevention and response techniques.
DoS attacks are used to overwhelm websites, servers, and services with enormous volumes of traffic. The malicious traffic usually consists of messages, connection requests, and/or fake or malformed network packets designed to take systems offline or render them unusable.
What are the critical steps in an incident response process?
These four steps in a cyberattack response are critical to your business.
Threats must be identified early to be dealt with.
This starts with educating your entire team on the identification of threats and how to respond. In addition to the human aspect of threat and vulnerability identification, technology tools and a high level of expertise are also required.
Intrusion detection consists of network security, signal identification and verification, log scrubbing and management, and a host of additional technologies and processes.
Once an attack, or attempted attack, has been identified it must be contained. Malicious software programs need to be identified and isolated, along with the infected systems, to stop further spread and infection of systems and networks. This part of the process also requires tools, education, and technical expertise.
Don’t high-five too early in the cyberattack response process.
You may think you’ve identified and isolated the incident, so game over, right? Not necessarily. Depending on the type of attack and/or malware involved, you’re not out of the woods until the threat has been eradicated from your systems. This means you’ve fully recovered from any data losses, corruption, loss of system access, etc.
Recovery from a breach can be a meticulous, time-consuming process. In the case of Ransomware, for example, you may have to replace permanently encrypted information from a backup or some other disaster recovery mechanism.
The recurring theme here is that cyber threats are numerous and constantly changing. Effective detection, response, and recovery can require an expensive, complex infrastructure and significant IT talent. Hiring just one IT security expert could easily cost upwards of $10,000 per month.
At Microman we have affordable, highly functional cybersecurity solutions for small and mid-size businesses just like yours.
We leverage our team of experts and state-of-the-art software technology and tools in a managed service that we call Managed Detection and Response, or MDR. This allows our customers to take advantage of the investment we’ve made in people, processes, and technology dedicated to cybersecurity.
For a fraction of the cost that it would take for you to implement a sophisticated cybersecurity infrastructure and framework, you can take advantage of our MDR in the form of a fixed monthly cost.
Like to hear more?
At Microman, we focus on providing managed IT services for small businesses just like yours. We understand the risks you face in a technology world filled with cyber threats.
Let us help you take back control of your security infrastructure and your critical information.
We’re offering a free cybersecurity assessment with no obligation and no cost to you. That’s right, everything to gain and nothing to lose.
Call us at 614-792-0645 or Schedule Your Free Cybersecurity Assessment Today!
Let us help you get some of that hard-to-come-by experience before you need it!