If your business’s database or network has been compromised by a cyber threat, it’s important that you act fast to mitigate the damage. Whether it’s ransomware, a Trojan, keystroke-logging malware or a rootkit, cyber threats can wreak havoc on your business. Emphasizing incident response in your business’s cybersecurity plan, however, will protect it from severe, debilitating damage in several ways.
Outages Are Expensive
The longer it takes you to respond to a cyberattack, the greater the risk of an outage. This is important because statistics show that server and network outages cost enterprise businesses about $686,000 per hour. If your business remains offline for just two hours, that’s more than $1 million. Outages redirect businesses’ time, labor and money away from their core operations. For businesses that rely on networks and information technology (IT) systems, an outage can prevent them from selling products and generating revenue.
There’s also a legal aspect of incident response. If your business has been attacked by a hacker and you fail to take immediate, appropriate action, a court may find your business liable for damages incurred by the affected individuals or entities. In 2017, Target settled a data breach lawsuit for $18.5 million in which hackers accessed the credit cards and debit cards of some 40 million customers. Although this breach didn’t involve a delayed response, it still shows that businesses can be found liable for cyberattacks.
Mitigate the Damage
The amount of damage your business sustains from a cyberattack varies depending on the time it takes you to respond. Time is of the essence, so you need to quickly identify and neutralize the exploit or problem that caused the attack. Furthermore, some cyberattacks become progressively worse over time when left unchecked. If a worker unknowingly deploys ransomware on your business’s network, for example, it may continue to encrypt your business’s data. Once you’ve stopped the attack, however, the encryption will stop.
Prevent Further Attacks
When a hacker discovers an exploit in your business’s network, he or she may sell that information to other hackers. And once those hackers know how to infiltrate your network, you’ll probably experience multiple cyberattacks. One report found that 40 percent of all small businesses were hit with multiple ransomware attacks in 2017. You can prevent additional cyberattacks against your business by taking immediate action at the first sign of an attack. Whether it’s spyware or full-blown ransomware, a quick response is essential to your business’s cybersecurity.
Depending on the severity of the attack, you may need to quarantine your business’s servers, restore backups, update logins and more. The time it takes you to perform these recovery processes, however, will vary depending on your response time. If you immediately respond to the attack, you’ll recover more quickly. On the other hand, waiting until severe damage has been done to your business’s network means a longer and more difficult recovery.