Blog /

Responding to a Cyberattack: What Businesses Should Know

Responding to a Cyberattack: What Businesses Should Know

This blog was provided by our partners at Field Effect.

This blog was provided by our partners at Field Effect.

Many organizations tend to think of cybersecurity incidents as only sophisticated, complex attacks on large organizations. But cybercriminals are largely financially motivated, targeting any organization in search of monetary gain, no matter employee count.

It’s crucial that all organizations think about their cybersecurity and how they would react to an incident before it happens. How will you respond if—when—you learn of suspicious activity? What’s your first step? Can you carry out the investigation and restoration in-house, or do you have third-party experts on standby?

In the end, incident response is a major undertaking. Not only does it involve mitigating and removing the threat entirely, but better protecting your business to avoid compromises in the future. 

Incident response: Key steps of the forensic investigation

The incident response process can vary, but in the end, it strives to answer these questions:


It’s important to figure out exactly what happened. What did the cybercriminal do? What business processes are affected? Was any of the company’s data taken during the incident?


We also want to create a timeline for the attack. When did the attack start, how long did the cybercriminal have access to the environment, and what was the last activity?


To make recovery as seamless as possible, it’s key to determine which systems were impacted, and what needs to be rebuilt. Was the whole network affected, or just a specific user account or system?


This is a big one: figuring out how the cybercriminal conducted their attack. What was the root cause of the compromise? Can we determine their activity—commonly called their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs)—or other indicators of compromise (IoCs)?

This step is typically the most time-consuming, but it’s often the most critical from an incident response standpoint. The goal is to be able to identify how the cybercriminal originally got into the network, how they moved around after, and whether they stole any data.


Why did the cybercriminal conduct the attack? Often, the answer is money. This is why ransomware attacks—when the cybercriminal locks or steals data and demands payment for the data’s safe return—are such a common attack type.

What about after the cybersecurity incident?

While answering the questions above, there will be a point where the incident is considered contained, and the process of remediation and restoration can begin. Any security gaps which allowed the attacker in will be fixed and work can get started on bringing business practices back online.

But this step also includes improving your cybersecurity for the future by putting the right security solutions, policies, and processes in place. After all, incident response is not just about fixing an attack, but helping to prevent future ones.

What about before?

The good news is you can also take steps to reduce your risk of an attack before it happens.

Educating staff, adopting the right policies, having an incident response plan in place, and implementing a sophisticated cybersecurity solution are all core ways to proactively reduce your risk of an attack, as well as being better prepared to respond and recover when one does happen.

Whether you need incident response help now or want to kickstart your cybersecurity strategy, visit to explore our cybersecurity solutions and services.

Share this