Cyber threats can catch people by surprise, necessitating a quick and thoughtful response, even before the full story with all its details emerge.
A recent example is Cloudbleed, a software bug in Cloudflare that led to alarming data leaks. Sensitive information, including log-in credentials and private messages, got exposed publicly and cached by search engines.
The coding error that led to this data breach has since been fixed and a cleanup undertaken to try to remove leaked data from public view. But the extent of the exposed data isn't yet clear. Cloudflare offers various web services, including website protection, to numerous companies, including Uber and OKCupid. We don't yet know how Cloudbleed will affect people.
Are you prepared to respond quickly?
When a new cyber security threat emerges, you need to immediately act. What are some of the steps you may need to take?
- Changing login credentials. With Cloudbleed, for example, it would be important to quickly change passwords and other credentials for potentially affected sites and perhaps make inquiries to Cloudflare about the steps they're taking to resolve the problem.
- Double-checking and strengthening your user authentication measures. How can you more reliably distinguish between authorized and unauthorized users?
- Performing a software update. If a new version of a software gets released and contains a patch for a security vulnerability, you need to quickly perform the update.
- Taking any other steps needed to correct the problem. Sometimes it's your own error or vulnerability that led to a data breach; other times, the problem stemmed from a vendor. You may need to do anything from rewriting your own code to discontinuing your relationship with a particular vendor.
- Monitoring possible repercussions. Compromised data may wind up getting used against you, sometimes within hours of a data breach and other times within months or years. You need to remain aware of the potential repercussions and monitor the situation. (In general, 24/7 monitoring of your systems is an essential defense against cyber attacks.)
- Alerting people to the situation. If your business website uses Cloudflare, for example, how would you let customers know about the situation and what you're doing to address it? Without alarming people needlessly, discuss the problem and highlight your commitment to fixing it.
Handling all of this on your own is daunting. However, if you work with a managed services provider (MSP), you'll benefit from experienced IT professionals assisting you round-the-clock. Your MSP will act quickly and thoughtfully on your behalf while keeping you informed about the situation and receiving your feedback and insights. Please contact us for more information about our managed services.