Balancing a Proactive and Reactive Approach to Cyber Incidents


Is your business prepared for a cyber incident? These malicious security events can range from data breaches and system failures to malware attacks and phishing scams. They can severely hinder productivity, revenue growth, and customer satisfaction. 

A cyber incident can have severe consequences for a business, including data loss, downtime, and financial loss. In some cases, a cyber incident can also cause business interruption. 

This blog will explore how to protect yourself from online attacks. We’ll discuss proactive and reactive approaches to keeping your information safe and what to do in the aftermath of a hack.

By taking these proactive steps, you can help protect your business from the devastating consequences of a cyberattack:

Routinely update your passwords

By being vigilant and taking proactive steps, you can help safeguard your business from the disastrous fallout of a cyberattack.

Here are a few tips on how to create a strong password: 

  • Use a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols 
  • Avoid using easily guessable words like your name or birthdate 
  • Use a different password for each account 
  • Don’t reuse passwords

Use a virtual private network (VPN)

A VPN can be an excellent tool for securing your company’s data. By encrypting your data and controlling who has access to it, you can help prevent data breaches and protect your company’s information. But, first, selecting a reputable provider with security experience is essential.

As a business leader, you are responsible for keeping your company’s security awareness training up-to-date and engaging. Educating end users is essential to protect your business from potential threats in today’s digital age.

Run regular phishing tests

Phishing is a malicious online activity that seeks to acquire sensitive information or install malware by deceiving users. Although phishing attacks can be highly sophisticated, regular employee security training can help identify vulnerabilities to this type of attack. Additionally, users can protect themselves from becoming victims of these cybercrimes by being aware of the warning signs of a phishing email.

Reset access controls regularly

It is vital to regularly reset access controls to stop people from getting into places they’re not supposed to. A regular process to do this helps make sure that only people who are allowed to have sensitive information can get it. You can reset access controls yourself or use automated tools to do it.

Use multifactor authentication (MFA)

Multifactor authentication requires employees to provide more than one form of identification when accessing data. Examples of this could include a password, a security token, or a fingerprint. Requiring multiple forms of identification reduces the chances of having unauthorized access to your data.

Reactive Steps to Remember

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) reactive incident response framework covers the following five phases:


Start by identifying security risks to develop an effective incident response plan. Consider threats to your technology systems, data, and operations. Understanding these risks allows you to respond to incidents more effectively and reduce the impact of security breaches.


To protect your company, you need to develop and implement appropriate safeguards. Security measures to guard against threats and steps to ensure the continuity of essential services in the event of an incident are examples of safeguards.


Detecting anomalies, such as unusual network activity or unauthorized access to sensitive data, are needed to limit the damage and get your systems back up and running faster following an incident.


A plan to respond to detected cyber incidents is critical. This strategy should include breach containment, investigation, and resolution strategies.


To minimize disruption, you must have a plan to resume normal business operations as soon as possible after an incident.

Implementing the above proactive and reactive steps requires time, effort and skillsets that are possibly beyond what you can commit to at the moment. However, you can still accomplish this by collaborating with an IT service provider like us. Our experience and expertise may be just what you need. Feel free to reach out to schedule a consultation.

Also, to walk you through incident prevention best practices, we have created a checklist titled “Cyber Incident Prevention Best Practices for Small Businesses,” which you can download by clicking here.