Your business has been hacked – what should you do?

Cyber attacks are increasing and becoming more sophisticated.  If you are attacked it is important to act quickly to limit the damage.

Here are some steps to take that will limit the damage to your IT systems and get you back up and running safely.

Take immediate action

The longer you wait, the more damage that can be done.  Identify which systems have been compromised, which IP addresses were used in the attack and establish whether it was caused by a virus, malware, unauthorised remote access or another cause.  If possible isolate infected computers by disconnecting them from the internet and network to prevent viruses and malware from spreading. Keep your staff informed and involved and advise them what steps need to be taken.

Contact your bank

Speak to your bank and stop and report payments as necessary.

Update your security software

Click on your security software and make sure the latest virus signatures are installed and carry out the update.  Perform a manual virus scan of your whole system, which should remove any immediate threats, and if the scan fails get professional help.

Change your online passwords

Once you have scanned your system change your email password as well as passwords on affected accounts, including any using similar passwords. Tips on how to secure your company’s passwords.

Check for changes to your accounts

Check the rules in your email account for any suspicious rules.  Ensure that email forwarding is turned off so that copies of emails, including password change notifications, are not sent to the hacker.  Check the settings of your other accounts to make sure no changes have been made.


If you have a security breach the quickest way to recover data is via a good back up.  Any data lost through human error, a hardware malfunction or a cyber attack can be restored from a recent back up so that you can get back to work with minimal disruption.

Disclose the breach

If you have a data breach speak to an expert who can advise you about regulatory mandates and whether you need to inform clients and stakeholders.

Train your staff

Train your staff about data security and make sure they are aware of their role in protecting company data. Educate them about password security, sharing sensitive information, clicking on links and downloads, updating security software, and questioning credibility before acting upon requests by phone or email.

Update your IT security solutions

Carry out an audit of your IT networks and update your security solutions where required.  Compile a data security policy with a checklist of protocols that your staff can refer to.

IT professionals are trained to handle these situations, so if you do not have in-house expertise take advice from an IT expert.

If you want advice on how to safeguard your business contact us or call 01603 451810 or