Tell-Tale Signs Your Business Experienced a Cyber Breach
by Zivaro, on Sep 9, 2021 11:15:05 AM
Unfortunately, few businesses are equipped to handle a security incident. Here are the tell-tale signs your business has experienced a cyber breach.
A cyber breach happens when information is stolen from a system without your knowledge or permission or when someone gains unlawful or unauthorized access to a business’s protected data or systems.
Unfortunately, statistics show that a large percentage of U.S. businesses aren’t equipped to deal with the ramifications of such an attack. According to data curated by Forbes, only five percent of company folders are adequately protected from cybercriminals and hackers.
If you believe your business has experienced a cyber breach, taking swift action is critical. Here are some tell-tale signs to look for.
You’ve Noticed Changes to Files
Changes made to critical files on a server help delay detection for cybercriminals, giving them more time to offload their data or make fraudulent transactions.
If cornerstone files have been changed or appear to be missing, this could signify that an unauthorized party has access to them.
You’ve Received Ransomware Messages/Emails
Malware and phishing are two of the most common types of cybersecurity threats.
Hackers combine these tools with ransomware to lock and encrypt your data, then extort you to pay a fee to have it unlocked. If you or your staff are receiving lots of spam emails and pop-ups or random alerts keep showing on the screen, you might have a problem.
Unfortunately, it only takes one person falling for a fake email to potentially breach your entire system’s security. Educating staff and streamlining practices is the best way to prevent these attacks from being effective. Encourage staff to report issues they notice and always be careful when opening emails or clicking on links from unknown senders.
You’re Experiencing Login or Access Issues
Using strong passwords can protect you against many cybercrimes, including brute force attacks. If you suddenly can’t log in or lose access to certain parts of the network, that’s a pretty good sign that something’s gone awry.
Issues like this should be reported to your managed IT services provider right away. Cybercriminals often bide their time on a network before striking. Deleting a compromised account could be the key to preventing a system-wide issue from happening later.
Your Network Is Slow or Acting Up
One slow computer isn’t necessarily a sign of a breach, but a suddenly slow network could be a sign of malware or viruses on your system. It could also mean hackers are taking up network space transferring files off your server.
If you’re unsure, check your network’s outbound traffic. If there’s a massive spike, that’s a telltale sign that your network has been breached.
You’ve Noticed Strange Administrative Activity
Administrative accounts have access to data and permissions others may not. Cybercriminals often target them as a result.
Red flags to look for include:
- Sudden permission changes
- File configuration changes
- Modifying or viewing sensitive information at frequent intervals
- Unauthorized privileged access sharing
Regular log review and audits of your system can help you detect errors or strange patterns like these. Ask staff members to speak up and report irregularities—even when it appears to be happening to a leadership team member.
What to Do If You’ve Experienced a Cyber Breach
Unfortunately, nearly 80 percent of IT professionals believe their organizations aren’t adequately protected from cybercrimes. Then, it’s no surprise that experts say cybercrimes will cost businesses 10.5 trillion dollars globally by 2025.
A compromised computer or network is no joke and should be dealt with ASAP. The less time a cybercriminal has access to your system’s data, the better.
In the future, consider using a managed IT service provider to secure your network, protect your data, and provide on-site support.