Unfortunately, many small businesses throughout the US are at risk of getting hacked. In the last few years, plenty of large corporations have found themselves dealing with this situation. From Home Depot, to Target, to the IRS, these groups have all had to figure out how to protect themselves and the consumer. Finding out there’s been a security breach is always tricky, but there are a few things you can do to minimize the damage to your business and your clients.
Stay Prepared to Avoid Hackers
To minimize the risk of your business being hacked, you should create a cybersecurity plan and make sure every department is sticking to it. By staying aware of the latest trends in hacking, you can stay ahead of the game, and you can recognize when there has been a break in security. It is also a good idea to frequently change the passwords on all computers and relevant accounts from time to time. It’s recommended to do so every three months so that your business can stay safe. Don’t decide to ignore the alert when it is time to update your software, because these updates often implement new ways to protect your software and programs. If you do business from your phone or home computer, it’s a good idea to take the same security measures as you do when you’re physically at work. Hackers can get into your business through your personal gadgets, so take care to protect those as well. Finally, you should have an “in case of hacking” plan in place that you’ve discussed with an IT team that everyone on staff is aware of.
What to Do First
When you come into work and realize that your account or computer has been hacked, it’s tempting to panic and give up. Experts say your response to being hacked is really what can make or break your business. It’s best to stay calm, evaluate your options, refer to the emergency protocol plan your business should have in place, report the breach, and call in some experts to help you deal with the fallout.
Change Your Passwords
This should be the first thing you do once you notice any suspicious activity on any account. You can’t be sure yet what the hackers have gotten into, but you want to make sure any accounts associated with your business have the password changed. Make sure all of your employees do the same on their computers, just in case.
If you use a password manager that automatically updates everything, you might want to leave that until you can figure out the extent of the damage. Hackers could have access to your system and therefore can keep accessing your files.
Find Out the Extent of the Damage
You should treat this hack like any other crime scene. You don’t want to delete any logs or posts until you can call in an investigator. After all, if unsavory parties have accessed your client’s data, this could end up a legal matter in court. Take screenshots, and don’t delete the backlogs. You can put your social media accounts on private, at least until you can get a professional to help you.
Get the Right Help
To verify exactly what was accessed and how much damage is done, you should enlist the help of an experienced IT team. Some hackers aren’t great at covering their tracks, in which case you should be able to trace their IP address. If they’re experienced, it’s a lot harder to find the individual responsible.
An IT team can also help you determine what’s been compromised. If a hacker just got into your social media, they may be able to download analytics that contain personal information. Or, hackers can download the business’ email, providing information for financial accounts. Thoroughly check every account before deciding it is safe to use again.
Let Your Customers Know and Rebuild Trust
If your client’s information has been leaked, it’s vital that you tell them so they can take steps to protect themselves. If your social media was hacked, delete the posts and let your followers know. Your customers will trust you more if you are honest with them.
Call Internal Computer Service
Leave your business’ digital safety in the hands of experienced professionals. Call Internal Computer Service at 804-672-1057 and speak to a professional IT specialist about what you can do to prevent hackers from compromising your company. With 28 years of experience serving clients all around Richmond, Virginia, you can be sure that your digital safety is in good hands. First consultations are free, so you can always get the advice of a great IT expert when you need it.