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What to Do When You're a Victim of Cybercrime: A Guide for Individuals and Businesses

Digital security system

In today's digital age, the evolving threat of cybercrime looms large, affecting individuals and businesses alike. You have probably been advised on what steps to take to prevent cyber attacks, which is good to do as a layered approach is key to security and safety. But, what about what to do following cyberattacks. Whether you've fallen prey to a phishing scam, a data breach, or any other cybercrime, knowing what the next steps to take is crucial. In this post, we'll outline the necessary actions to follow when you're a victim of cybercrime and introduce Chameleon Confidential Solutions, your partner in business resilience advisory services.

For Individuals

1. Secure Your Accounts

With the current economic markets and downturns, even close downs of businesses causing job losses, desperation and hardship creeps in for survival of these challenging times, but sadly, as do crimes increase including being vulnerable to tricksters and cyber attacks. Having situational awareness including being curious, and a proactive mindset is most pertinent.

  • Consistency is the key to regularly evaluate your security measures across all platforms and keep informed of trends. Always do the security updates on your systems.

  • Change passwords immediately for compromised accounts.

  • Enable two-factor authentication wherever possible.

  • Monitor your financial statements and credit reports for suspicious activity.

2. Report the Crime

  • Contact your government and law enforcement agencies to report the cybercrime.

  • Report the incident to the appropriate online platform (e.g., social media, email provider) if applicable.

3. Remove Malware

  • Run a full antivirus scan to remove any malware or malicious software from your devices.

  • Keep your software and operating systems updated to prevent future attacks.

4. Protect Your Identity

  • Consider freezing your credit to prevent unauthorised access.

  • Be cautious about sharing personal information online and offline.

For Businesses

Recently, I observed that there was so much exploitation of high net worth businesses and high profile executives and celebrities that involved personal branding damage, including intellectual property, potential copyright infringement not to mention how cheesy and shallow the posts came across on social media platforms. These high net worth individuals are dedicated and committed to their craft of which they have worked very hard for their success and are used as fodder for many to gain from.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and few minutes of cyber-incident to ruin it.” Stephane Nappo

1. Contain and Investigate

  • Isolate affected systems or networks to prevent further damage.

  • Engage a cybersecurity professional to conduct a thorough investigation.

2. Notify Authorities and Affected Parties

  • Report the cybercrime to relevant government and law enforcement agencies.

  • Notify affected customers, employees, and partners promptly, as required by data breach laws.

3. Document Everything

  • Keep detailed records of the incident, including the timeline, actions taken, and communication with authorities.

  • This documentation may be necessary for legal and insurance purposes.

4. Strengthen Cybersecurity

Remember that as a business leader you need to create a security culture and everyone including the business needs to be a part of that culture.

  • Work with a cybersecurity expert to assess vulnerabilities and implement necessary security improvements.

  • Train employees on cybersecurity best practices to prevent future incidents.

  • As the threats evolve so should your crisis and contingency plans. Crisis plans are not a set and forget they are an evolving process. The best crisis planning requires regular ongoing research, evaluation and updating.

  • I leave you with the following thoughts:

“We discovered in our research that insider threats are not viewed as seriously as external threats, like a cyberattack. But when companies had an insider threat, in general, they were much more costly than external incidents. This was largely because the insider that is smart has the skills to hide the crime, for months, for years, sometimes forever.” — Dr. Larry Ponemon

For businesses, look to Chameleon Confidential Solutions as your trusted partner in business resilience. Our expert advisory services provide tailored strategies and solutions to safeguard your company's data, reputation, and bottom line.

October is cybersecurity month , (actually it should be every month) so take advantage of this time to get your business up to speed.

Contact Chameleon Confidential Solutions today to schedule a consultation and take proactive steps toward a more secure and resilient business. Don't wait until you become a victim; be prepared and protected with our expertise by your side. Your business's future depends on it.

A very colourful Chameleon resting on a branch

By Catherine Halse @ 2023. All rights reserved.


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