August 28, 2023

Cyberattack Preparedness During Disasters

Managed IT Services


Minutes to read

Four ways disasters fuel cyberattacks in your business

The aftermath of an unexpected disaster can push your business to a breaking point. This unintentionally creates opportunities for cybercriminals to launch attacks, amplifying the chaos caused by such disasters.

How disasters impact your business

Disaster preparedness should be a top priority for any business β€” for physical resilience and for reinforcing your digital defenses. By understanding how disasters fuel cyberattacks, you can proactively protect your business.

Understand How Disasters Fuel Cyber Threats

Let’s look at four significant ways disasters fuel cyber threats and what strategies you can utilize to strengthen your cybersecurity in the face of adversity.‍

Leveraging diverted attention and resources

‍When a disaster strikes, a business immediately focuses on safety and recovery. Unfortunately, this diverts attention and resources from maintaining and protecting your IT systems and networks.

With a reduced focus on cybersecurity measures, essential updates, and monitoring may be overlooked, leaving your networks vulnerable to attack.

‍Cybercriminals seize this opportunity to infiltrate your systems, compromise sensitive data, and disrupt your operations.

To combat this situation, establish a dedicated team responsible for monitoring and maintaining cybersecurity, even during times of crisis. Implement automated security systems to scan for vulnerabilities and apply necessary patches continuously.

For businesses needing more help, outsourced IT provides practical and right-sized cybersecurity for your objectives.

‍Exploiting fear, urgency, chaos, and uncertainty

‍Disasters create an environment of fear, urgency, chaos, and uncertainty β€” prime conditions for cybercriminals to thrive in.

They launch targeted attacks, such as deceptive emails or fraudulent websites, capitalizing on a sense of urgency and the need for quick solutions. By manipulating individuals into disclosing sensitive information, cybercriminals gain unauthorized access to critical systems.

To combat this, educate your employees about the tactics used in phishing attacks and social engineering scams. Train them to recognize warning signs, such as suspicious emails or requests for sensitive information.

Encourage a culture of skepticism and verification, where employees double-check the authenticity of requests before sharing confidential data.

‍Damaging critical infrastructure

Disasters can cause severe damage to your critical infrastructure, compromising components integral to your cybersecurity measures. Destruction of servers, routers, or firewalls can weaken your defense mechanisms, allowing cybercriminals to exploit security gaps.

To combat this challenge, ensure your critical infrastructure has backup and disaster recovery in place. Regularly back up your data, store it securely off-site or in the cloud, and test the restoration process to ensure it functions smoothly.

Implement robust disaster recovery and business continuity plans, including provisions for cybersecurity.

‍Impersonation and deception

‍In the wake of a disaster, cybercriminals often exploit the trust associated with relief organizations and government agencies.By impersonating these trusted sources, they deceive victims through phishing emails, messages, or calls, tricking them into divulging sensitive information or engaging in fraudulent transactions.To protect yourself from such scams:

  • Encourage your employees to verify the authenticity of any communication – especially ones received during a disaster.
  • Advise them to independently contact the organization or agency through known, trusted channels to confirm the legitimacy of any requests.
  • Establish robust security awareness training programs that educate employees about common impersonation tactics and teach them how to report them effectively.

Protect Your Business

Now that you understand how cybercriminals can target your business during a disaster, prioritizing disaster preparedness and implementing the measures above are essential next steps.

‍To further strengthen your cybersecurity efforts, schedule a free IT Consultation.

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