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Data Emergencies: How to Deal with Worst-Case Scenarios

There is a growing number of cyberattacks targeting personal and business users. Even users with basic security measures are being victimized by sophisticated attacks, which further reinforces the need for better security measures and information security best practices. Installing an antivirus and hoping for the best does not cut it.

Preventing attacks is important, but it is also necessary to understand how to deal with attacks and their impact. When your email has been breached or your computer is infected with ransomware, the first few steps you take are crucially important. In this article, however, we are going to focus on data-related emergencies and how to deal with them like a pro.

Do a Quick Assessment

The first step you want to complete is doing a thorough assessment of the situation. The best way to deal with a cyberattack depends on the kind of attack you suffer from. In the event of a ransomware attack and losing your data to encryption, for instance, you can go straight to working towards recovering your data and restoring your system.

There are three things to figure out when doing an assessment of the attack: the source of the attack, the issues caused by the attack, and the affected data and hardware storing your data. Knowing the source of the attack is important for preventing more attacks while you try to recover your data. Understanding the source also helps you stop the malicious script from spreading.

These issues are also easily identifiable. You may not be able to access your data completely, see your files being replaced by malicious scripts, discover signs of data corruption, or have your hardware fail completely. Again, these details will come in handy when you start dealing with the loss of data and working your way towards recovering important files.

Lastly, identify the affected data and hardware. Try to separate them from uninfected parts of your system to prevent the damage from spreading to other files and hardware. That last part is crucially important since preventing the issue from spreading leads to an easier time dealing with data and hardware that has been affected.

Close Breach Points

The next step to take is closing your breach points. Now that you know more about the attack and where it came from, you can identify breach points and immediately add security measures to prevent additional attacks.

If the attack comes from an external network, closing access to your internal network is recommended, at least as a temporary solution. This will stop whatever malicious scripts running in your system from communicating with external servers (their sources).

For attacks originating from USB drives or other offline endpoints, preventing additional attacks simply means quarantining the source and affected devices from the rest of your system. Rather than risking the entire system being infected by a malicious script, quarantine affected devices immediately.

Secure Damaged Data

How much data can be recovered depends highly on how you handle the affected devices after an attack. It is always safer to disconnect affected drives completely rather than trying to write to the drive. Formatting is a big no.

Failed hardware needs to be replaced immediately. This is often the tricky part because not everyone (or organization) has the resources to replace damaged drives and hardware immediately. There may be budget constraints standing in the way.

You can look into financing options if you need to replace some drives right away. There are a lot of financing options to consider too. Finding one that suits you or your organization best will not be a problem. This helpful website will get you started right away if you need a same day payday loan.

Recovery Options

With the drives (and the files in them) secured, it is time to look at your recovery options. If you have a good backup routine in place, you are in luck. Recovering your data is as easy as restoring damaged files from the backup image.

If a comprehensive backup isn’t available, you need to start looking into different levels of data recovery. In milder cases, you can turn to data recovery tools to help bring back your damaged files. The recovery software will scan your damaged drive and identify files that can be restored.

Using recovery software may not be enough. While a good recovery software can recover files at a stunning rate, files that are too damaged to recover fully will still be inaccessible after the recovery process. This is the time to consider a professional recovery service.

A good data recovery service provider can also help you deal with hardware failures. Rather than accepting the fact that you can no longer access your files, you can enlist the help of professionals, read directly from the discs inside your drive, and restore your files to a fresh hard drive you purchased earlier.

Preventing Future Attacks

Recovering your data is only one part of the equation. You still need to take additional steps to prevent further loss of data and future attacks. Since you already identify the breach points and the kind of attack hitting your system earlier, you have the insights you need to decide the right security measures to put in place.

Adding security measures after a catastrophic attack also makes investing in them more viable from a business standpoint. It’s much better to avoid future problems than to suffer from more attacks, isn’t it? Seek the
best security measures to add to your system and start securing your data better.

Lastly, make changes to your backup routine based on the files you lost after the previous attack. If you don’t have a backup routine in place, set one up immediately. There is a lot to learn from data loss caused by cyberattacks. The more you learn, the more protected you’ll be in the future.

With the tips and tricks that we discussed in this article, you will be able to deal with data emergencies like a pro. It is always better to prevent an attack than to deal with one, but you now have the tools and resources you need when you have to recover from a bad cyberattack hitting your system.


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