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Cyber attack: what to do when your company is hacked

Feeling lost and overwhelmed after a cyber attack on your company? Our step-by-step guide will walk you through the crucial steps to take, from containing the damage to communicating with law enforcement and other authorities.

A cyber attack can be a devastating event for any organization and it’s crucial to have a plan in place to handle such a situation. In this blog post, we will discuss the steps that managers should take to mitigate the damage and protect their organization in the wake of a security breach.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that the clock is ticking from the moment a security breach is detected. Every minute that goes by without action can result in further damage, so it’s essential to act quickly and decisively.

No one is immune to cyber attacks and organizations of all sizes and industries are vulnerable to these types of threats. However, the impact of a cyber attack can be greatly reduced by preparing beforehand. By taking proactive steps to protect your organization, such as implementing security protocols, training employees on best practices and conducting regular vulnerability assessments, you can significantly decrease your risk of a successful attack. Additionally, regular backups, incident response plans and penetration testing, will help you to minimize the damage in case of a security breach. While it’s impossible to guarantee 100% protection against cyber attacks, taking these steps can greatly reduce the likelihood of a successful attack and minimize the damage caused by one.

Our step by step guide to a cyberattack

First reaction is key: contain the damage!

The first step is to contain the damage by isolating the affected systems and networks. This will prevent the attacker from spreading malware or stealing more data. Depending on the severity of the attack, this may involve shutting down entire systems or disconnecting from the internet.

Assess the Scope

Next, it’s crucial to assess the scope of the attack. This includes identifying which systems and data were affected and how the attacker was able to gain access. This information is crucial for determining the best course of action and communicating with law enforcement and other authorities.

However, it’s important to note that this step may require professional help from your IT department or a cybersecurity company, as it often involves analyzing logs and other technical data to determine the extent of the damage and the methods used by the attacker. It’s critical to have an expert in this field to help you navigate this process as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Law enforcement and authorities

When a cyber attack occurs, it’s important to communicate with law enforcement and other authorities to ensure that the incident is properly investigated and that the responsible parties are held accountable. For European companies or companies doing business in Europe, there are specific regulations and guidelines that must be followed when reporting a cyber incident.

One of the most important regulations to be aware of is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect in May 2018. Under the GDPR, companies are required to report certain types of data breaches to the relevant authorities within 72 hours of becoming aware of the incident. This includes breaches that result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, such as unauthorized access to personal data or the accidental or unauthorized destruction of personal data.

When reporting a data breach to authorities, it’s important to provide as much information as possible about the incident. This includes the nature of the breach, the number of individuals affected and the measures that have been taken to contain the incident and protect individuals’ personal data.

Another important regulation to be aware of is the Network and Information Systems 2 Directive (NIS2 Directive). This directive requires companies in certain critical sectors, such as healthcare and energy, to report certain types of cyber incidents to the relevant authorities. The directive also requires companies to have robust incident response plans in place to ensure that they are able to effectively respond to cyber incidents and minimize the impact on their operations.

Prevent future attacks

Once the scope of the attack has been determined, the next step is to take measures to prevent future attacks. This may involve patching vulnerabilities, strengthening network security and implementing new security protocols.


It’s also important to communicate with employees, customers and other stakeholders about the attack. Transparency is key in these situations and it’s important to keep everyone informed about what’s happening and what steps are being taken to address the issue.


Finally, it’s important to learn from the attack and make changes to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. This may involve reviewing and updating security policies, conducting regular security training for employees and conducting regular penetration testing to identify vulnerabilities.

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A security breach is a serious event that requires quick and decisive action. By following these steps, managers can mitigate the damage, protect their organization and take measures to prevent future attacks. Remember that your first step should always be to call IT experts, you can also hire a cybersecurity company to help you.

It’s also important to note that, preventative measures such as regular backups, penetration testing and employee training are crucial to ensure the security of the organization and minimize the damage in case of a security breach.

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