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How to Handle Your Business Getting Hacked

By November 1, 2013March 6th, 2023Cybersecurity

Despite all of your security measures, your worst nightmare has happened anyway: you’ve been hacked. Now, not only do you have to figure out what was stolen, you have to alert your customers, make sure you can patch the problem, and maybe even bring a few security experts in your door to help you out. There isn’t anything pleasant about being hacked, but it’s also not the end of the world, fortunately. Here are a few things you should do to help you deal with a breach while you remember to breathe.

What Kind of Breach Happened?

What was stolen? Check your bank accounts, your hidden data, your database logs, and any email accounts to see what was compromised and where. For example, maybe a hacker did something a simple as logging into a computer that hadn’t been turned off for the night. If email was already logged into (or had the same password as the computer), that might be a good place to start investigating.

Bring in the Professionals

Don’t be shy – bring in those who know what they’re doing. Sometimes you just don’t know where to start looking for what kind of data was stolen, and sometimes all you know is that something doesn’t look right in the morning. That’s okay – IT professionals can find your problem with skills and analysis software. They might even be able to tell you how you can prevent a breach again, and recommend something to help with your office security.

Share, but Share Wisely

Once you have an idea of what’s actually going on, and what has been stolen, it’s time to tell your office and your clients. However, telling your customers the entire story isn’t always the wisest decision because it may bring panic where there doesn’t need to be any. Of course, be upfront about being compromised and make sure they know what they need to do on their end, especially if private information of theirs was stolen.

Notify the Authorities

A hacker may not stop at your office. They may move on to other small businesses to test their skills, and it’s important that you tell the authorities so they may be able to help the next victim. If there were any signs of something like a “calling card’ left behind because your hacker wanted to take credit for their work, that’s a great piece of information to give to the police. Even an alias can help find the person that hurt your business so the authorities can stop them from hurting others.

While a successful hack can be downright scary, and there isn’t really any way to fully prepare for one, just make sure you stay as calm as possible and learn from the situation. Your business will be stronger tomorrow because of your strong leadership.

Chris Forte

Chris Forte, President and CEO of Olmec Systems, has been in the MSP workspace for the past 25 years. Chris earned his Master’s Degree from West Virginia University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He was a past member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a current member of the New Jersey Power Partners and Executive Association of New Jersey, where he has previously served on its board of directors. In his spare time, Chris enjoys traveling with his family. He also admits to being a struggling golfer and avid watcher of college football and basketball. He currently lives in Boonton Township, NJ with his wife, two daughters, son, and black lab Luna.