Consulting with a Conscience™

A cruciallogics blog

Written by Amol Joshi
on January 19, 2024

OK, so you could have protected your data more successfully. It happens. Data breaches cost businesses an average of $4.35 million in 2022. Not to mention the financial loss (large) and reputational damage (also large). It is still possible to be hacked despite investing in cybersecurity measures, so knowing how to respond is crucial.

 

Remediate the Attack

 

In the aftermath of a cyberattack, the first step is to remediate the attack, which can be complex and time-consuming. The ultimate goal is to contain the damage, remove any malware, restore systems from backup, and patch vulnerabilities to prevent similar attacks from happening again. However, accomplishing this goal requires a thorough understanding of the entire remediation process and the tools and resources available to make it happen.

 

The initial step in the remediation process is to contain the damage by isolating the compromised systems and networks, disconnecting them from the internet, and preventing further damage. Once the damage has been contained, the next step is to remove any malware that may be present on the compromised systems and networks.

 

Microsoft Sentinel and Microsoft Defender solutions, such as Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, are essential tools for identifying and removing malware. These solutions are designed to help detect and remove any malware that may have infiltrated a system or network. They use advanced behavioural detection and heuristic analysis techniques to identify and block threats in real-time, making them an invaluable resource for any remediation process.

 

Restore Systems from Backup

 

After removing the malware, the next step in the remediation process is to restore systems from backup. Hopefully, your backup data was stored securely to avoid falling into the wrong hands. Defender for Cloud is a useful solution for restoring systems from backup, as it offers a full range of backup and recovery options that can be customized to meet the specific needs of each organization.

 

Prevent Future Attacks

 

Finally, the last step in the remediation process is to patch vulnerabilities to prevent similar attacks from happening again. This means identifying and addressing any weaknesses in the systems and networks exploited during the attack. Microsoft 365 Defender is a comprehensive security solution that includes vulnerability management tools that can be used to identify and remediate known vulnerabilities, ensuring that systems and networks are secured against future attacks.

 

The Disaster Recovery Plan

 

It's essential to have a disaster recovery plan in place and to conduct a debrief of the attack to understand what went wrong and how to improve. Part of remediation and debriefing after an attack should involve an analysis of the cybersecurity measures in place and identifying any gaps. You can use a Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solution to detect and prevent data breaches in real time, minimizing the damage caused by an attack.

 

Data Loss Prevention Policies

 

Data loss prevention policies are essential for any organization that handles sensitive or confidential information. These policies outline the procedures and guidelines for handling data, such as data classification, storage, and transmission. They define how data should be backed up and who can access it. Organizations can reduce the likelihood of data loss in another attack by implementing or reviewing these policies.

 

Auto-labelling is an essential aspect of data loss prevention that helps identify sensitive data and assign a predefined set of actions to that data. Auto-labelling allows organizations to streamline their data governance process, ensure compliance with regulations, and prevent data breaches. Effective auto-labelling allows IT teams to monitor and secure their data effectively, providing them with confidence in addressing the challenges arising from the growing amount of data organizations generate.

 

Lastly, a crucial method to prevent data loss is through regular security testing and assessments such as penetration testing. Penetration testing mimics a real-world attack on an organization’s systems to identify vulnerabilities attackers could exploit. The vulnerabilities identified during a penetration test can help organizations take preventive measures to avoid potential breaches. It is a crucial step in securing data as it allows organizations to identify security gaps and take appropriate measures for data loss prevention.

 

Communication

 

Another critical step is to tell everyone and be transparent. If your business is public or you have consumer data, you must inform your customers about the attack and reassure them that the situation is under control. By being transparent and communicating clearly, you can maintain the trust of your customers and avoid worse reputational damage. If the attack is significant, using PR can help manage the narrative, but regardless of the size of the attack, paying attention to it and hoping no one notices is never recommended.

 

 

In conclusion, cyberattacks are not a question of if but when. A plan for detecting, responding, and recovering from a cyberattack is crucial for any business. Following the steps outlined above will help you get through the aftermath of an attack, minimize its impact, and improve your defences for the future. Stay vigilant and stay safe!

 

We’ve helped other organizations recover from an attack and build more secure systems to prevent another attack. Contact us to get the process started.

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