How to Deal With Cyber Attacks in Three Steps

Cyber attacks, specifically social engineering attacks, continue to grow and evolve with ferocity. With ransom demands soaring and new, severe invasions on cloud operating systems, it’s never been more important for business owners to proactively review their cyber security posture. Understanding how to deal with cyber attacks has become a crucial undertaking in securing both the financial and reputational future of your clients, from large corporations to small businesses.

A cyber attack prevention plan will help your clients not only prevent attacks, but be prepared to respond when the time comes and a cyber attack occurs.

Three Steps to Cyber Security: Prevent, Respond, Recover

Today, every organization that uses technology is at risk of a cyber event. If you have clients who are at risk of a cyber attack, help them protect their businesses with these three steps:


1. Enhance Your Security Features

Many cyber criminals will aim for the easy targets first. Implementing security features such as complex passwords, Multi-factor authentication, and a Secure Email Gateway (SEG) are simple but crucial steps in intercepting thousands of cyber attacks that are launched daily. The spam folder of your email can demonstrate just how common these attacks are.

2. Update Your Software Regularly

Those constant reminders and notifications may be pesky, but they can’t be ignored. Software updates continuously patch known vulnerabilities to protect against ever evolving cyber attacks. Implementing automatic updates is a great way to ensure these won’t be forgotten.

3. Create a Culture of Cyber-Security Awareness

Human error is often an organization’s biggest vulnerability. With thousands of social engineering attacks launched at businesses every day (largely to email addresses), hackers can easily gain unauthorized access to networks via unknowing employees. Security awareness training should be a regular and recurring part of your clients’ cyber security plan and company culture.


1. Act Quickly and Efficiently

A hand reaches out and touches a graphic of a blue padlock, made of computer circuits, over a city background. Once it has become clear that a cyber attack has taken place or sensitive information leaked, it’s important that business owners act immediately. A proactively set data breach response plan is one of the best ways to mitigate the damages of an attack once it has occurred. This allows all parties of the response team to act efficiently as their individual roles and tasks are predetermined.

2. Utilize a Breach Coach

A breach coach, which can be included with a cyber insurance policy, is a professional who will walk your clients through the recovery process following a data breach. This individual helps business owners ensure they’re responding to the breach appropriately, which means following all rules and regulations.

3. Notify the Appropriate Parties

This includes both victims of the cyber event and the authorities. Transparency is key in responding to a cyber attack. Notifying the victims may involve enlisting a public relations firm or call center for your client, which is often covered by a cyber insurance policy. In addition, your clients will need to notify the appropriate authorities and organizations to prevent potential fines.


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1. Restore or Replace All Possible Data

With the help of an IT forensic team, it may be possible to recover lost data. In cases where this data may be lost, your clients will be forced to rebuild. Backing up electronically-stored data regularly is recommended to reduce the amount of potential data that could be lost.

2. Repair Any Digital Asset Damages

Following a cyber attack, your clients may find that their website, intranet, or network was damaged. Many small businesses don’t have their own IT department and this can be a costly outsource. With a cyber insurance policy in effect, your clients will be covered so they can get their website and network back up and running.

3. Adapt to Prevent Another Attack

Following a potential breach, your clients should take a step back and review what vulnerability may have led to this hacker’s successful attack. Was there a lack of training? Or software that was outdated? Your clients should implement new measures to make their cyber and data security posture even stronger to prevent any additional attacks.

The single most important step in protecting your clients from cyber threats is helping them find the right cyber insurance policy. The cyber insurance policies of today provide comprehensive coverage for a number of costs associated with security incidents, including IT forensic costs, crisis management costs, third-party claims due to the breach of personally identifiable information (PII), and potential fines or penalties.

In addition to crucial coverages, a cyber insurance policy will often provide access to a number of tools that can help your clients evade cyber attacks altogether, including IT scans, employee training, access to breach response plans, and more.

The cost of a cyber event without a cyber insurance policy can be enough to force a business to close.

ProWriters Is Here to Help

As brokers, you play an important role in protecting the future of your clients’ businesses and ProWriters is here to make your job even easier. We offer numerous broker resources including our FREE eBook, Ransomware: The Front Lines, which provides information on what makes ransomware so dangerous, how your clients can protect themselves, and what steps they should take if they fall victim.

ProWriters has more than 20 years of experience and strives to consistently review and optimize our processes to make buying and selling cyber insurance more efficient than ever. For more information on ProWriters, talk to one of our experts at 484-321-2335 or contact us.