Are unusual activities occurring in your business computer systems? Do you suspect that you’ve got a cybersecurity breach right under your nose? Before you any drastic take steps, you first need to make sure that you’ve got a cybersecurity breach on your hands.
Dealing with the aftermath of cyberattacks can difficult and costly. In 2019, small businesses lost over $200,000 on average from cyberattacks. To keep your business data safe, you should know the warning signs of a cybersecurity breach.
In this article, we’ve got a list of the top five signs your network has been hacked. Keep reading to learn what they are and some solutions you can use. We also sprinkled in some tips for improving your cybersecurity below.
1. Locked User Accounts Are Signs of a Cybersecurity Breach
Are you, your team, or your clients having issues logging in? Are your users having trouble accessing their accounts with their credentials? Locked accounts are signs of a data breach. This is especially alarming if the users are sure they’re using the right passwords.
It often means that a cybercriminal tried to enter the account without succeeding. This may have caused the account to lock after too many failed attempts. Or the cybercriminal succeeded in logging in and has changed the password.
To avoid this, use two-factor or multiple-factor authentication on all accounts. This way, passwords become only one of two keys that can grant access to account users. The other key will get sent to the person’s mobile device or email, where they can confirm the log-in.
2. You Observe a Slow Network
Another warning sign that you’re under a cybersecurity attack is when your internet connection and/or devices are slowing down. If you’re experiencing a sudden lag in your internet, investigate the causes of it as soon as possible.
When your network is slow, there’s a huge chance that cybercriminals are going after your data. You must also do the same thing if your computers in the business suddenly operate slower. If the computers are slower, malware is likely running in the background.
Human error is one of the biggest reasons behind these attacks. In 2020, 94% of malware got received through email. One way to avoid this is to train your employees to be aware of cybersecurity and how not to fall victim to cyberattacks.
3. You Discover Changes to Critical Files
One of the first things that hackers will do when they gain access to a network is to hide. To avoid detection, they’ll change, delete, or alter essential system files. Hiding will only take them a short while, and it’s almost undetectable until you start seeing the effects.
The tampering of critical files can cause immense damage to complex IT infrastructures. Sometimes, the hackers will stay hidden for months or years. This is why you need to keep track of your critical system files.
If you find out that you have a cybersecurity breach, act fast. Refer to your data breach incidence response plan to secure your data and files. A comprehensive incidence response plan can protect your data with minimal damages.
To have a good incidence response plan, you will need to first know how to create one. Be aware of your weaknesses, your resources, and the latest cybersecurity news. For instance, click here to learn about the news of the Pulse Secure cybersecurity issue.
4. You Notice Unusual User Activity
Did a lot of accounts change or reset their passwords out of the blue? Are admin users doing unusual or abnormal activities? If you notice these things happening, a cybersecurity breach could be in the works.
Any anomalous user activity should get investigated as soon as you catch it. Your system should have an account disabling function whenever it senses such activities. This way, your clients or accounts stay safe even after attempts like this.
Remember that two-factor authentication and complex passwords don’t guarantee full protection. They can thwart attempts, but professional hackers have the patience and resources. These steps will only stall them, but they can still break into user accounts.
Plus, using multi-factor authentication is that it can put a spotlight on hackers. There will be a record when the second factor fails to log them into the account. The increased chance of getting spotted also deters hackers from doing the deed.
5. There’s a Large Amount of Outgoing Traffic
Finally, you may also notice that your outbound traffic is skyrocketing.
Compared to inbound traffic, outbound connections have much larger risks. The attack surface of these connections is the sum of all potential risk points. Some examples are browsers and security scanners.
This is another big red flag that you’ve got a data breach. Once hackers access your system, they’ll use your apps to communicate to their apps on the outside. Also, this outbound traffic is the cause of the slower internet or network connection.
You may also see this manifest in a lot of outgoing emails from your accounts. Cybercriminals will use your business email accounts to send out phishing or spam emails. They’ll open your client list and steal from your clients through your accounts.
The results that come from these acts can be quite destructive to your business. You’ll lose clients and the trust of your clients. Your reputation will go down, and some businesses never get to bounce back from this disaster.
Keep Your Business and Clients Protected From a Cybersecurity Breach Today
Those are the top five signs that you got breached by cybercriminals. If you notice one of these signs in your network or computers, start looking for other signs of a cybersecurity breach right away. The sooner you can verify that you’re experiencing a cybersecurity breach, the sooner you can act.
Keep in mind that being active in taking preventative measures is the best way to avoid this. Yet, these measures aren’t always foolproof. Thus, you should also keep an incidence or data breach response plan always.
Do you want to see more content that tackles what to do before, during, or after cybersecurity attacks? Check out our other guides to learn about handling and managing cybersecurity breaches. Learn how to protect your files, data, and accounts now.