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The Perils of a Computer Hack: Don’t Let It Bring You Down

It’s common place to have trust in the ability of technology to make your business run smoothly. Your employees rely on desktops, laptops, and smartphones to communicate with clients and colleagues. Accessibility and collaboration are priorities, but these imperatives must be balanced with the need for security. After all, the modern office and BYOD (bring your own device) environment leaves a window of opportunity for malicious computer attacks. It’s essential to implement security measures to ward against an attack and to have a plan in place should an attack ever happen. Here are a few tips to follow if your business should suffer a hack:

 

What Can Happen When Your Computer Gets Hacked?

 

From malware to phishing scams and brute force hacks – there’s so many outlets through which hackers can use and abuse technology to get access to your information. A hack can affect your ability to do business, undermine your reputation, cost you money, and even become a legal issue if privacy laws and compliance regulations are violated.

 

Often, many people and organizations don’t even realize they’ve been hacked until it’s too late. So always keep an eye out for compromised emails or credit cards, newly installed programs, unwanted browser searches, and those pesky pop-ups.

 

What Steps to Take if Your Business Gets Hacked

 

If your business does come under attack, there’s a few essential steps for you to take. You should already have a protocol in place regarding how best to communicate the breach to your employees and customers. Riva Richmond of Entrepreneur recommends the following course of action if your business gets hacked:

 

  • Find out what happened – what computer/accounts were targeted? What data was compromised? What other parties were affected? Who is responsible?
  • Seek legal advice.
  • Communicate early and often with your employees, clients, and partners
  • Eliminate the problem – reformat and/or patch the vulnerability, reset passwords.
  • Rebuild – implement security measures to close the exploit.

 

Don’t forget, the first step to always take if your business data gets breached is to alert your local privacy commissioner as required under the federal Digital Privacy Act.

 

How to Prevent a Hack

 

All it takes is a few routine habits to ensure your security system is good and tight.

 

Always change your passwords on a frequent basis. Always backup your data frequently so that if this does occur, it’s not a huge loss to restore the system. Be sure to consult with a local IT firm to learn the best ways to properly backup your data. Educate your team about the risks and tell-tale signs of common phishing scams and malware. Audit your security processes and implement a security policy that patches identified vulnerabilities and potential sources of data loss or data leakage, malicious or otherwise.

 

Prioritizing security will complement your other organizational imperatives such as collaboration and accessibility. Technology should always be an enhancement for your business, not a hindrance. In following these security measures, your business will better be able to prevent an attack or bounce back from a computer hack and promptly resume regular operations.

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