A breach of an organisation's cyber security can have devastating financial and reputational repercussions. In this article, we take a look at what you should do if you discover that your organisation has suffered a cyber security breach.
1.Stay Calm – In cyber security incidents you can’t outrun a machine and by the time you discover a breach, it’s probably been going on longer than you realise – don’t make any rash decisions. If prepared invoke Incident Response and business continuity plans. If in place or not, it’s important to make a decision as to whether to deal with the issue internally (often depends on available skilled resources) or to bring in a 3rd party incident management team like PGI Cyber’s Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT).
2.Identification – When alerted start to document timelines and findings as well as actions when taken. Bear in mind that in the event of a breach that the attacker may be elsewhere within your organisation which may require further investigations.
3.Containment – Prevent the attacker from doing any additional damage without alerting them to the discovery where possible. Patch out of date hosts, update your perimeter device rules and policies. Once contained start to investigate whether other devices may be affected and look at business continuity measures where needed. This may depend on the business impact of the breach.
4.Eradication – Remove the attacker and any underlying indicators of malicious software or code from affected hosts, this can be a decision of precision removal or re-building of devices (wiping the machines) and perform account hygiene across the estate.
5.Recovery – Monitor the network for signs of any identified indicators that may return and ensure that changes made on the network have not had any unforeseen consequences. You may at this point discover the attacker had additional footholds in your organisation, in which case return to stage 2.
6.Lessons Learnt – identify what caused the breach, any problems that occurred during the incident response process and develop mitigating strategies to deal with any identified risks and issues moving forward. PGI can assist with all of this.