Proactive and Reactive Approach to Cyber Incidents

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A cyber incident is a security event that can harm a business like yours. From data breaches and system failures to malware attacks and phishing scams, these incidents can hinder productivity, revenue growth, and customer satisfaction. In most cases, a cyber incident will result in data loss or downtime. This can include loss of confidential information, customer data or business records. In some cases, a cyber incident can also cause business interruption or financial loss.
We can all agree that no one wants their business to be hacked. A single cyberattack can rob you of your time, money and peace of mind. In addition to getting systems operational and data restored, you have to let all affected parties know that their data may have been compromised. This situation can be difficult for anyone, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world.
In this blog, we’ll discuss proactive and reactive approaches to tackling an attack, coping with the aftermath of a hack, and preventing future incidents.
Proactive steps to implement
By taking these proactive steps, you can help protect your business from the devastating consequences of a cyberattack:

Routinely update your passwords

Updating your passwords regularly is critical to help keep your account safe. Updating your passwords every six months can help protect your account from being hacked.
Here are a few tips on how to create a strong password:

  • Use a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols
  • Avoid using easily guessable words like your name or birthdate
  • Use a different password for each account
  • Don’t reuse passwords
  • Use a virtual private network (VPN)

A virtual private network encrypts your company’s data and gives you complete control over who has access to it. This can help prevent data breaches and protect your company’s information. However, make sure to select a reputable provider offering robust security features.

  • Conduct regular security awareness training

As a responsible business executive, you must ensure that your company’s security awareness training program is comprehensive, engaging and adaptable to new threats. In today’s digital age, this is critical to protect your business.

  • Run regular phishing tests

Phishing is a type of cyberattack that employs deceitful techniques to try and obtain sensitive information from users or cause them to download malicious software. Phishing attacks can be highly sophisticated and challenging to detect, so you must periodically test your employees to assess their vulnerability.

  • Reset access controls regularly

It is crucial to reset access controls regularly to prevent unauthorized access to protected resources. This helps ensure that only authorized individuals have access to sensitive information. Resetting access controls can be done manually or with automated tools.

  • Use multifactor authentication (MFA)

Multifactor authentication is a security measure that requires your employees to provide more than one form of identification when accessing data, reducing the likelihood of unauthorized data access. This can include something they know (like a password), something they have (like a security token) or something they are (like a fingerprint).

Before we move on, take note of the cybersecurity training topics recommended by the Small Business Administration (SBA) for all small businesses:

  • Spotting a phishing email
  • Using good browsing practices
  • Avoiding suspicious downloads
  • Creating strong passwords
  • Protecting sensitive customer and vendor information
  • Maintaining good cyber hygiene
  • Reactive steps to remember

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) reactive incident response framework covers the following five phases:


Security risks must be identified to develop an effective incident response plan. These include threats to your technology systems, data, and operations. Understanding these risks allows you to respond to incidents more effectively and reduce the impact of security breaches.


To protect your company, you need to develop and implement appropriate safeguards. Security measures to guard against threats and steps to ensure the continuity of essential services in the event of an incident are examples of safeguards.


Detecting anomalies, such as unusual network activity or unauthorized access to sensitive data, is needed to limit the damage and get your systems back up and running faster following an incident.


A plan to respond to detected cyber incidents is critical. This strategy should include breach containment, investigation and resolution strategies.


To minimize disruption, you must have a plan to resume normal business operations as soon as possible after an incident.
Implementing the above proactive and reactive steps requires time, effort, and skill sets beyond what you can commit to. However, you can still accomplish this by collaborating with a service provider like us. Our experience and expertise may be just what you need.

Not only can we secure and optimize your network, but also help your business achieve sustained growth. Ready to transform your network challenges into opportunities? Contact us today to schedule a no-obligation consultation at

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Terry Cutler

I’m Terry Cutler, the creator of Internet Safety University, an educational system helping to defend corporations and individuals against growing cyber threats. I’m a federal government-cleared cybersecurity expert (a Certified Ethical Hacker), and the founder of Cyology Labs, a first-line security defence firm headquartered in Montréal, Canada. In 2020, I wrote a bestselling book about the secrets of internet safety from the viewpoint of an ethical hacker. I’m a frequent contributor to National & Global media coverage about cyber-crime, spying, security failures, internet scams, and social network dangers families and individuals face daily.