These days, every organisation is a potential cyber-attack target. Hackers could be trying to get hold of sensitive data, access a customer or supplier, infiltrate the organisation’s activities, or just have a bit of fun.
As scary as it sounds, once we accept that one day we will be attacked, it makes sense for us to be prepared for what we’ll do when we are breached.
Getting prepared for a cyber attack
There are several aspects to preparing and protecting your organisation, including (but not limited to):
- How will you inform your stakeholders?
- How will you respond to the media if the story gets out?
Assessing the damage:
- How will you identify what data has been stolen?
- How will you determine the scope and scale of the breach?
- How will you know how the breach happened?
- How do you stop it happening again in the future?
Preparation in practice
For many organisations, how they respond and deal with public perception after a breach is paramount. A positive, well thought out and competent approach—which demonstrates to stakeholders and the general public that the organisation is in control—will likely result in limited reputational damage and no significant decline in public confidence.
However, the opposite is true too. If the public perception is that the organisation doesn’t know what it is doing, or has no clear plan for addressing the breach, then confidence will drop and there may be a significant effect on the organisation’s share price.
It’s often the first impressions that count in these circumstances and it’s important to have a crisis communications strategy in place. For example, your organisation should plan how they are going to deal with an event, who they need to contact, who will talk to the press etc. They should also have contact details for appropriate people within the press and media to hand.
Assessing the damage
Did you know? The average time taken for organisations to realise they have been breached is often quoted as being approximately 240 days.
Working out what has been taken—and when—can be very challenging for many organisations. Typically, they will need to have been capturing and retaining system and event logs from their servers and network devices (including firewalls and routers) and probably also endpoint devices (including laptops and desktops). Those logs may have to have been retained for quite some time.
Frustratingly, logs take up a huge amount of disk space, which in the past has been very expensive, so it’s unlikely that everything has been logged or that logs have been held for the 8 or 9 months needed.
In addition, trawling through those logs to identify ‘normal’ operations, then to find ‘abnormal’ actions is not practical for a human, but there are many tools available which can interrogate and map the logs. These are usually advertised as (Security Information and Event Management) SIEM tools, but there may be individual tools for specific requirements or sets of logs. These tools are used along with forensic techniques to determine exactly what happened and when.
Before you panic about the enormity of assessing the damage, it’s important to know that many companies will call in specialist incident response teams and digital forensics to help identify exactly what happened and when.
Once you know what happened—and how—you need to review existing security practices to protect your organisation from a recurrence. For example, if the initial attack came through an infected email, you may look at better email scanning or phishing awareness training for staff. This would be an iterative process, and that from each successive attack you look to strengthen defences.
Are you prepared?
If you’ve read this article and you’re not sure that your organisation is prepared, PGI are experts in both the proactive and reactive aspects of cyber security. Contact us today to get your organisation ready to be hacked: firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)207 887 2699.
Protection Group International believes that cyber security doesn’t need to be overly complicated, incomprehensible or vastly expensive. We specialise in delivering strategic vulnerability assessment services and offer a range of senior cyber awareness education to enable you to tackle cyber threats in-house. For more information click here.
Your free global geopolitical
PGI’s Risk Portal tool provides daily intelligence feeds, country threat assessments and analytical insights, enabling clients to track, understand and navigate geopolitical threats.
The Risk Portal gives users up-to-date information and analysis on global affairs.
The Risk Portal allows users to visualise information in a unique and instantly understandable way. Mapping filters enable the visualisation of incidents by threat category, time period, perpetrator and target type.
Risk Portal users can upgrade their accounts to include the Report Builder and Country Profile Generator features. The Report Builder allows users to select information, data and images from the Risk Portal and create bespoke reports and emails.
Subscribers to PGI’s Bespoke services receive tailored analysis on specific sectors and geographies of interest, delivered at a frequency they determine.
Making ongoing compliance easier for you and your business
GDPR is now in force. Make sure your business meets the necessary requirements, providing assurance for all of your customers and employees.
A full audit of your business to assess the level of your compliance against GDPR requirements.
Become GDPR compliant with minimal work. We will conduct an analysis, review, report and implement any necessary changes to your business.
We will conduct simple security assessments to help you understand and mitigate the potential risks to your business.
Get your business ready to face the cyber challenge.
We provide a full range of accredited, certified and bespoke services that assess the resilience of your cyber security posture.
PGI’s Qualified Security Assessors (QSA) will help you meet Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).
Find out more on PCI DSS
Demonstrate your commitment to cyber security by achieving and maintaining accreditation for the globally-recognised information security standard.
Find out more on ISO 27001
Understand the threats of phishing and malware to avoid being targeted.
Undertake our phishing vulnerability assessment to reduce your organisation’s risk of attack, by measuring the cyber awareness of your workforce.
PGI will conduct a tailored phishing campaign, using multiple methods, to identify realism and train employees where necessary to mitigate future attacks.
PGI monitor multiple metrics to identify the types of phishing, generate in-depth analytical reports and provide an informed decision to help improve your organisation’s level of security and awareness.
Prevent attacks, respond to breaches and protect your business.
Our bespoke range of cyber security services not only protect your critical assets but provide the education you need to keep your operations and data safe.
Implement this cost-effective cyber security measure launched by the government to prevent cyber-attacks, demonstrate information security commitment to your clients, and attract new business by being recognised as a secure organisation.
Find out more on Cyber Essentials Accreditation
The most effective way to identify how attackers target your organisation’s weaknesses is by evaluating your system, your network security, and reporting on any vulnerabilities that could have an impact on your business.
Find out more on Penetration Testing
If your business has experienced breaches, network compromises or operational disruption, our team of cyber security specialists can deploy quickly, and will begin the process of detecting and eliminating the threat efficiently.
Find out more on Data Breach Response & Recovery
Data Breach Response & Recovery
We prevent attacks, respond to security breaches, and protect your business
Our team of specialists can deploy quickly and efficiently to begin the process of detecting, eliminating and preventing future threats of a breach.
A vital part of the response process is making a copy of your data for safe forensic analysis. We will work with you to preserve and use this evidence to discover the extent of an intrusion.
Find out more on Digital Forensics
We will identify and minimise the risks, as well as the possibility of future risks to your business.
Consistent interaction with your management team and recommendations on how to approach all outcomes that need attention.
Subscribe to our Cyber Bytes Newsletter
Keep yourself in the loop with PGI by signing up to our Monthly Cyber Bytes email. You will receive updates, tips and narrative around what has been happening in the world of information security.