4 Quick Tips For After You've Been Breeched

No one likes a hacked account. Am I right? A hacked account can result in financial loss, identity theft, or just a whole lot of wasted time. None of which is fun. But unfortunately, you don’t have too much control over what is or is not hacked. All you have control over is the aftermath. So, if you happen to find yourself on the receiving end of a data breach, here’s what you should remember.

 

Login Credentials

Your login credentials should be changed as quickly as possible. The sooner you get around to doing this, the better off you’ll be. If you change your logins before anyone gets inside your account, then obviously they won’t be able to get inside your account at all. Even if they manage to crack your credentials, it won’t do them any good. Those credentials will be old by that time.

 

Emails

When criminals hack their way into a database, they can stand to take a lot of information. Some valuable. Some not. But one of the things they will likely gather is your email address. And surprisingly, if they have your email address, they don’t need much else to send a rather legit phishing email your way. But your email address isn’t the only thing they might have. In all likelihood, they probably have a few personal details, as well. Because of this, you need to be wary of any emails you receive from a company after they’ve been hacked. Think twice about clicking links, downloading attachments, or fulfilling any requests – even if it looks 100% legitimate.

 

Credit Report

Again, hackers can stand to take a lot of information about you after a breach. If they have enough of the right information, they can potentially steal your identity. After a breach, monitor your credit report carefully. Depending on the severity of the breach and the type of company breached, there might be free credit monitoring services offered. However, if there aren’t, you can always create a free account on Credit Karma.

 

Credit Cards

If you any have financial information tied to your account, then you’ll have to keep a close eye on your bank statements, as well. You may even need to request a replacement for any credit card used or saved on the site. Keep in mind, this doesn’t just apply for websites like Target and Amazon – where purchasing products is the sole purpose. It could be a site like LinkedIn, who gives you the option to pay for a higher-level membership.

What could happen without a plan?

Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) is one of those things that all businesses need to have in case of disaster. Whether it’s a natural disaster such as a tornado, a hardware failure, or even an attack from a hacker. Anyone of these could permanently disable your business if you aren’t prepared or have a proper backup plan. For those of you still backing up data manually on tapes or *cringe* not at all, here are some reasons why you need a BDR solution and should stop tuning out potential disasters.

First of all, a data disaster is more common than you might think. Currently, 58% of Small/Medium sized businesses (SMBs) are not prepared for data loss. Even worse, 60% of SMBs that lose their data will shut down within six months. Something that could have been prevented could potentially wreck your business, especially scary to think about when 29% of hard drive failures are caused by accident. It would be silly to have human error or a simple mishap put your company out of business.

You may have security protocols in place and your employees are well versed on avoiding things like malware. Well done. However, you’re still not protected. Human error is a large culprit in data loss. It could be unintentionally deleting items or accidentally overwriting data, but these “oops” can hit hard. Human error can result in other kinds of hardware damage like liquid damage from spills or even accidental reformatting. All of these things are possible and have happened to many SMBs before you. Sometimes recovery is possible from the software platform you were using, maybe your computer has your back and caught these things. It’s still a time consuming and money wasting error to fix, even if you are lucky to recover some of what you lost.

Viruses and malware can be a significant cause to software or hardware damage depending on what kind of bug found its way in. Usually, this can be avoided with proper employee training as well as an awesome firewall that will help filter malicious attacks. Yet another prey in the night is social engineering – the art of conning people. Hackers have been known to get into server rooms and other data-centric areas of the business. Employees may not even notice their mistake until it’s too late. I guess the “HVAC guy” turned out being a hacker in disguise.

Sometimes software corruption can come from unknown viruses lurking around your computer. However, most of the time it is due to improper usage. Things like not shutting down the computer properly or leaving unsaved documents open. Sometimes even a power outage can trigger corruption. Once the software processes are interrupted and damaged, it’s virtually impossible to recover data stored in the software.

Did you know that 140,000 hard drives crash every week? With that kind of number, it’s just a matter of time until it happens to you. That is not a comfortable position to be in if you know you don’t have backup. Unfortunately, hard drive corruption is usually due to mechanical issues. Things like age and dust build up can (and will) cause technology to fail. We’ve all used the old laptop we still have that’s been on its deathbed for months, freezing frequently, taking for-ever to load a webpage, and of course, acting as a heater for your lap or desk. All of these things are signs leading to a crash. You may not care if it’s an old hand-me-down laptop from the ’90s, but you will care when it’s your pricey equipment with all of your product data and client information stored on it.

Finally, good old-fashioned acts of God. You can’t necessarily prepare for a natural disaster. Even if you hear the tornado siren, backing up your servers to tape will take longer than it will for the tornado to hit your business. Then what? That tape is left among the rubble, destroyed.

This may seem like an exaggeration, but it has really happened to businesses. And even if only hypothetical, it makes for a great metaphor for any other crash within your business. This is also proof that on-site BDRs may not always be the final protective cover to your business. You may want to consider off-site or cloud data storage to ensure protection, so your data is safe even if your equipment is destroyed.

Protect your business and keep it running smoothly and successfully. Backup Disaster Recovery options are available for all kinds of SMBs and their needs. Don’t wait to be taught a lesson by the “big one”. Protect your important data and enjoy the peace of mind that comes along with it. You’ve worked too hard to get your business where it is. Protect your hard work.

If your server died, would you still have your most recent data? Could your business recover?

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