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Cyber attack FAQ

MineIn most organizations (perhaps even yours) as much as 80% of corporate assets are now virtual.

In the past. theft of corporate data would have involved actual thieves in the actual building. Today it’s disarmingly simple to wreak incredible havoc on an organization, whether from down the street or from halfway across the world. And yet many organizations are inadequately prepared for just such a cyber attack.

A recently released Gartner report, Prepare for and Respond to a Business Disruption After an Aggressive Cyberattack, walks BC and IT professionals alike through the best ways to plan for, prepare for, and mop up after an attack.

The report also includes some excellent introductory material, some of which is summarized here. If you’ve been looking for a crash course in cyber attacks, read on.

What, exactly, is a cyber attacker?

A cyber attacker, as Gartner defines it, is a person using automated tools and techniques to do damage to an organization. Cyber attackers can be lone hackers, but more often, they turn out to part of an organized group of criminals. Some are even state-sponsored.

What technology do cyber attacks typically target?

If it’s automated and connected to the Web, a cyber attack can hit it—information technology, operations and systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), and even physical security areas.

What does an attack look like?

At its most basic, according to Gartner, a cyber attack results in the disclosure of information to an unauthorized party. A cyber attack can result in any of the following situations:

  • Breach of personally identifiable information
  • Disclosure of classified, proprietary or sensitive information
  • Theft of intellectual property or trade secrets
  • Theft of user access credentials
  • Theft of credit card information
  • Website hacks
  • Blackmail or ransomware (the holding hostage of the organization’s data in exchange for payment)

What fallout will result?

If your organization falls victim to a cyber attack, expect impacts at all levels of your business. Average financial damage, according to Ponemon, is $7.7 million when all is said and done. Attacks can last months, and can take an average of 32 days and a million dollars to resolve. And reputational losses can climb into the millions of dollars, as well.

To prepare for this risk, consider implementing some or all of the best practices detailed in the Gartner report. Download your free copy of Prepare for and Respond to a Business Disruption After an Aggressive Cyberattack, courtesy of MIR3.