Getting hacked is the nightmare of every business owner. From the extortionate costs involved in a hacking incident, to the loss of customer loyalty and trust, just one attack can leave your business incredibly vulnerable. However, when hacking methods are as sophisticated as they are now, it can be hard to put up a good enough fight. You need to be ready on all fronts: from detecting viruses in email attachments, to monitoring what sites are used and could be potentially suspicious. However, even the best preventative methods aren’t always enough to scupper hackers. So, if the worst happens and you do get hacked, you should follow these steps to get you through.

Alert your customers

This is a hard step to take, but arguably one of the most important. If you know that the hacker now has access to sensitive customer information, you need to let people know. While customers will understandably be worried and possibly angry, the sooner you can let them know, the lesser amount of damage can be done. Once you’ve analyzed the event and new precautions are in place, you should let your customers know – they’ll want to understand the steps you’re taking to protect their data.

Get your data back

Some viruses, like ransomware, will freeze your data and not give you any access to it, unless you pay a large ransom. However, if you can get hold of a computer data recovery professional, you might be able to override the hacker’s demands and restore your data without needing to pay.

Let the authorities know

Cybercrime is on the rise, and is being taken more and more seriously by police forces around the world. So, as soon as the incident has happened you should alert the necessary authorities. Some branches have departments that specialize in cybercrime, so it might mean taking the matter out of your area, but leaving it with people trained specifically. You should also let any regulatory bodies in your industry know. They might have a set of rules or protocol to follow in the case of a breach, and will be able to advise you on the best steps to take regarding finances and customers.

Find out any financial implications

Costs involved in a hack can be astronomical. Not only could you be faced with fines that end up in the millions, but you’ll also be affected after the incident. Businesses can lose up to 20 percent of their revenue after a data breach. When you’re also going to be paying fines, losing that much business is a huge blow.

Analyze and understand the incident

The most important thing to come out of any breach is what you do afterwards. You need to thoroughly investigate and analyze what happened. How did the hackers get in? What was the weakness? Why didn’t your protection help? It sometimes helps getting a professional IT forensic team in, to help understand fully what happened. Then, you can put a new plan in place to stop anything similar from happening in the future.