4 Critical Steps for Responding to a Cyber Attack

4 Critical Steps for Responding to a Cyber Attack

Companies around the world are relying on cloud-based services, remote Internet access, e-mail and a great deal of other Internet applications, in order to make their business run smoothly. The growing use of those services increases the possibility of a cyber-attack and that threat is becoming greater every day.

Every company must understand the volume of damage those attacks can cause, and they must do everything in their power to try and prevent them from ever occurring. There are a number of steps they can take to achieve that, such as backing up their data on a regular basis, patching their software, using the SSL certificate, having a strong password policy and, of course, having a good web hosting provider.

However, even the most secure websites sometimes fall prey to hackers who manage to bypass their security and find their way in. The best weapon that companies must have in such cases is a prompt response. Acting swiftly with a focused response is of the utmost importance when it comes to protection. Every business owner must understand the risks of a cyber-attack and the consequences it can have on both their business and their customers.

So, what to do when the worst happens? Let’s take a look at some of the critical steps that must be taken in order to respond to a cyber-attack in the best possible way.

Get Your Incidents Response Team Ready to Act


Your incidents response team should effectively assess the situation when a cyber-attack occurs. This team should consist of data protection experts, a tech team that will identify the breach, intellectual property experts who will help minimize the damage and recover every piece of stolen information, employee representatives who will deal with incidents that affect employees, as well as legal representatives who will provide advice on all the legal implications of a cyber-attack.

Your incidents response team must always be on standby, ready to quickly and effectively deal with any kind of situation regarding data breach.

Secure Your IT Systems

Securing your systems is crucial for the protection of your data and minimizing the damage done. This is where many businesses make a mistake of taking the whole system offline or just removing the malware. Malware is only a symptom of an attack, and you should isolate only the compromised segment of your network and then work on identifying the source of the breach.

Since hackers often use admin passwords, you need to change them the second you detect the breach. You should change your access control list, which is usually an automated process, since that is the quickest way of effectively doing so.

If you immediately go offline, hackers will know that they have been spotted and they will go silent, preventing you from identifying them. Not to mention that you will lose a considerable amount of data. Therefore, the best thing to do is to leave the compromised machine online, but block it from Internet access. Place an isolated VLAN or implement a firewall to prevent the compromised machine from communicating outside your company. That way, you will keep it from doing damage to your network and you will ensure your business keeps going forward.

Set Your Backups in Motion


You must have a good crash plan for your website. You need to have your backups ready to go in case your systems become too compromised. You certainly have a lot of sensitive data, especially when it comes to your customers’ personal information, which you cannot allow to get stolen. Therefore, it is extremely important to backup your data on a regular basis, to ensure you don’t lose anything. That way, you can restore it easily in case a breach happens. Make sure you have a good web hosting provider that has reliable servers and offers you great backup options.

Notify the Authorities


Notifying the authorities about the cyber-attack on your organization is essential, since that will not only help your reputation, but also your customers. Your customers need to be aware of the possibility that their personal information has been accessed by hackers and you need to let them know that you have done everything in your power to protect that information.

When bringing the attack to the attention of the proper authorities, make sure that you provide them with all the evidence related to the attack, so that they can easily assess the situation and help you prevent any unwanted legal action. It’s also important to share the information about the attack with other organizations, as they may have been victims to similar attacks as well.

These people can offer you advice on dealing with data security breaches. This intelligence-sharing works both ways and communication with other companies is always good for business.

Due to the ever-increasing cyber security threats, it is paramount that you and your team stay alert if the worst case scenario happens. You may have the best website security, but that doesn’t stop hackers from finding their way into your systems and causing a lot of damage.

So, make sure you have a plan prepared to deal with a potential cyber-attack and protect both your business and your customers. Remember that a quick response is the best response, but being smart about it is key. Responding to a cyber-attack must be strategically planned in advance, so make sure you have the best teams at your disposal, to achieve that goal with ultimate success.

How To Use Online Business Listing To Your Advantage

It doesn’t matter what you do or sell online, your ultimate goal is always the same here – get as many people as possible to visit your website.

More people equal more leads, which means more conversions. The whole idea behind it is actually quite simple.

Although essential to everyone interested in making a buck or two online, getting more traffic to their website has become a real nightmare for most businesses. Especially smaller ones. The competition is just insane these days. Everywhere you look or turn – you’ll see at least 5-10 brands spending a lot more money on marketing than you are.

awful and awesome

Pure horror.

So, how does one compete with that?

By finding alternative ways on how to reach and engage your desired audience.

Despite the fact that the Internet has become quite saturated, there are still many ways on how to get more traffic to your new website. Like, for example, starting a company blog. Apart from generating new clicks, quality blogging actually helps businesses increase their brand awareness and even present themselves as leaders in a certain niche.

Nothing can build up faster credibility for your brand online like a smart and useful blog.

If you’re demonstrating how your products and services solve certain problems for your targeted audiences – then you’ll probably see a significant rise in traffic on your site in no time.


To increase traffic on their site, apart from blogging, most businessmen also create social media profiles, invest in advertising, post updates linking back to products or blogs on their website, generate excitement and create engaging material on their website through contests, discounts, free trials, etc.

They do whatever they can in order to rank higher on SERP.

SEO, in combination with content marketing, is probably the best way to drive traffic to your website, but it tends to get a bit pricey. Although it’s not the fastest technique out there, it’s certainly the smartest.  Why? – Well, because you’re offering real answers to real queries.

It’s quite easy to earn quality backlinks when you produce well-written and detailed solutions to problems most people encounter on daily and weekly basis.

All that aside, there’s another great and highly effective way to earn valuable backlinks and position your brand on the very top of Google search engine page results. I’m talking about listings here, of course.

By listing your company in all sorts of relevant online business directories that cover your niche or industry, you’ll receive just enough exposure to see your customer base blossom. 

What Are Online Business Directories?


The term is quite self-explanatory really. Online business directories are websites which list all businesses within some category. Firms can be categorized by business, location, activity, or size. It doesn’t really matter. They can be compiled either manually or through an automated online search software.

There are all sorts of different directories online to choose from. The best are the ones that get the most traffic because they have the highest probability of sending potential clients and customers to your business.


Listing your brand on these directories is really easy. All you have to do is find them and insert your information. Most business directories are free, but they all come with available options for upgraded listings or advertising.  

Large, medium or small – every directory has its own unique following. Every directory that you submit to is another chance to get found by your ideal customer, so make sure you’re listed in every single one that could be of any use to you.

How to Effective List Your Business?

Every business directory works like any other search engine. You type in the keywords and location of a business you’re looking for, and 
voilà – there you have it. All that is left for you to do here is choose the one that best suits your needs.  tumblr_n0iatyY57p1rpbikxo1_500

If you list your business in one or more (better more) of these directories, the chance of getting discovered by your local potential customers are quite high. Depending on how you list your information, of course. These sites can narrow down their search on the basis of the appropriate category and minimize their time while looking for your business.

When it comes to listing your business online you want to make sure that you’re doing it right. Before you go on and submit your information, always make sure that:

1. All your data is accurate. You don’t want to find yourself in a scenario where you’re losing conversions only because you wrongly wrote down your phone number.

2. Include as much information and media, i.e. videos & images, as possible. This will help your brand rise above the crowd.

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3. Be consistent. As you already know, you can write you address in many different ways. Like, for example, Beechavenue 129, 1119 RB Schiphol-Rijk, Netherlands, or Beechavenue 129, 1119 RB Schiphol-Rijk, Amsterdam. To avoid any confusion, I suggest you always list your business the same across the Web. This goes for any other step here. Consistency will help your SEO. It’s better to keep that in mind.

4. Pay attention to detail. When listing your business in an online category, make sure that you categorize it right. Try to pick the category that best describes who you are and what you do. Start with a broad category, then slim it down to size.

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5. Get as much reviews as possible. As I already wrote on this blog, customer testimonials are quite important for business. Reviews and testimonials build trust in you, especially if you’re a new business. People love hearing stories from other people. It helps them put things into perspective. If you have 5-6 great customers testimonials published on your website, your potential customers will start seeing you as a trustworthy source.

Thank you so much for sticking around to read my latest blog post from top to bottom. If you have any questions on this matter – I would be more than happy to answer them for you. All you have to do is write your thoughts down in the comments section below, and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

That’s it for now,
See you soon again,
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.

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