Throughout the whole month of January, fintech times It will explore every dimension in one of the industry’s most pressing topics: cybersecurity.
Cyber security breaches can happen anytime and anywhere, and no one is safe from their impact. Here, we’ll look at the process you can take in the immediate aftermath of the attack, and the steps that will lead you to take back your security, your information, and your life.
How does a cyber attack affect an individual?
When we think about the impact of cybersecurity breaches, many see the direct impact on their financial situation. In fact, money is the primary focus of cybercriminals, and asset loss is usually the first domino to fall. But we must also consider the broader personal impact of the attacks. Apart from the financial loss, the integrity of the victim’s personal data is also compromised, and it may take many years to rehabilitate the sense of identity.
A personal cyber security attack has the potential to harm the health and well-being of the victim. Experiencing this can be very stressful, which in itself can translate into a whole host of physical and mental illnesses, and the impact of stress has been well documented in the development of sleep disorders, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Moreover, even just one attack can sabotage a person’s belief using technology, leading to a loss of confidence in something designed, something capable of making their lives easier. When victims suffer an attack, they not only lose their money or identity, but their firm belief in financial technology.
Like throwing a stone into a puddle, the ramifications of a personal cyber attack are far-reaching and the resulting ripples are complex and difficult to treat. Criminals can use the data to accumulate debts and open fake bank accounts; Even blackmailing their victims long after the attack itself occurred.
The effect of the attack is far-reaching, and the true impact of the personal breach is too complex to list accurately here. But nevertheless, it is clear that when criminals attack, they take much more than they initially sought to gain from their actions.
How to recover from a cyber attack
After determining the losses that the victim of the attack is forced to bear, it is important to determine the steps to be taken in the immediate aftermath of the attack:
- Put your device(s) into safe mode
Safe mode is a typical diagnostic mode for most electronic devices. When activated, it drives the computing system to a lower level of operation, which will help contain an immediate cybersecurity attack. It should be your first point of contact when under attack.
- Stop the spread of the virus
Disconnect your device from any network it is connected to. Cybercriminals often use WiFi connections, or connections between partner devices, to maneuver their activities, and they can compromise multiple devices by hitting just one.
If you are experiencing an attack, it would be in your best interest to change your passwords as soon as possible. Criminals will steal passwords to gain access to different levels of information across multiple accounts, and they may change the password to those accounts to limit the effects of any treatment you try to enforce. Backing up your accounts with a secure email address is a surefire way to ensure you’ll still be able to change your passwords in the event an attack comes your way.
- Find out what was taken
When your device contains multiple streams of information, it can be difficult to determine exactly what was captured. To do this effectively, scan your data security logs through firewall or email logs. Cybercriminals may not necessarily erase your files, but they may instead encrypt your files, limiting your access to them. Missing or defective files will act as a good indicator of the attack, and if you are struggling to determine the true extent of the damage, investing in a cyber investigator or security software will help you with this task.
Just because you have been attacked, it does not mean that the attack itself is over. Once you have identified the files that have been affected, do your best to back up the remaining contents to your device. This could be either for an external hard drive, or for a secure cloud platform, because your device is not likely to be safe to use from that point on.
To prevent a recurrence of the attack, be sure to update the legacy systems that facilitated the attack in the first place. This can be in the form of a general system update, and should also be accompanied by an update of your cybersecurity software.
Just like any form of physical crime, assault, theft or otherwise, cybercrime must be reported. The process of reporting a cyber attack will differ from region to region, but it is essential that you do so, so that the possibility of any future attacks can be hampered. There is also the possibility that those you report the crime to may be able to locate your data and the person or people behind the attack itself.