With the rise in cyberattacks in recent months, the security of cloud accounts is becoming a major concern for business owners.
If your cloud accounts are hacked you can experience devastating consequences, such as data loss, financial loss, and reputational damage. In this article, we will discuss what business owners should do if someone hacks their cloud accounts.
1. Take immediate action
The first and most crucial step for business owners is to take immediate action if they suspect their cloud account has been hacked. The longer the hacker has access to the account, the more damage they can do. Business owners should follow these steps as soon as they suspect a breach:
● Change all passwords and enable multifactor authentication (MFA) on all accounts associated with the cloud service provider. ● Contact the cloud service provider's security team to report the breach and get assistance in securing the account. ● Review all accounts and look for any suspicious activity or unauthorized access. ● Back up all important data, in case the hacker deletes or steals it. ● Notify all stakeholders, including employees, partners, and customers, about the breach.
2. Investigate the breach
A comprehensive investigation will enable business owners to understand how it happened and what data was compromised.
● Conduct a forensic analysis of the cloud account to identify the source of the breach and the extent of the damage. ● Determine what data has been compromised and notify any affected parties. ● Evaluate the security protocols in place and identify any gaps that may have contributed to the breach. ● Consider hiring a cybersecurity professional to conduct a comprehensive review of the business's security infrastructure and recommend measures to improve it.
3. Notify the relevant authorities
Depending on the nature and extent of the breach, business owners may need to notify the relevant authorities, such as law enforcement agencies and data protection authorities. This is especially important if the breach involves the theft of personal data or other sensitive information, which could lead to severe penalties. Business owners should:
● Research the relevant regulations and requirements for reporting data breaches in their jurisdiction. ● Notify the authorities within the required timeframe and provide all necessary information about the breach. ● Cooperate fully with any investigations and take steps to prevent future breaches.
4. Improve security measures
After a breach, it's essential for business owners to improve their security measures to prevent future breaches. This may involve:
● Implementing stronger password policies and MFA for all accounts ● Limiting access to cloud accounts to only essential personnel ● Conducting regular security audits and vulnerability assessments to identify and address any weaknesses in the system ● Providing ongoing security training for employees to ensure they are aware of potential risks and how to avoid them
5. Monitor and review cloud accounts regularly
Business owners should regularly monitor and review their cloud accounts and security measures to ensure they remain protected. This may involve:
● Implementing monitoring tools and alerts to notify the business owner of any suspicious activity ● Reviewing and updating security policies and procedures as needed to reflect changes in technology and threats
6. Review and update the disaster recovery plan
After completing the necessary steps and processes outlined above, it's essential to conduct a review of the recovery plan. This evaluation should occur immediately following the breach, to assess how the organization responded and identify areas for improvement.
Conducting a post-breach analysis can provide valuable insights and transform the data breach into a learning opportunity. The review may reveal a need for new security policies, which could be addressed by forming a research team to develop them. It's common to find that staff lack the necessary skills and knowledge to respond effectively to a hack. If this is the case, business owners should consider setting up a training program to enhance employees’ abilities.
If the breach was due to a third-party supplier, the situation becomes more complicated. However, it's still possible to collaborate with the supplier to improve coordination and develop a plan to follow in case of a data breach.
A breach of a business's cloud account can have severe consequences. Business owners must take immediate action to secure their accounts, investigate the breach, and notify relevant authorities. They should also take steps to improve their security measures and monitor their accounts regularly to prevent future breaches. If you want to learn more about how to keep your cloud accounts safe, give our cloud experts a call today.