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Cyber Attacks on The Rise: Are You Prepared?

If you haven’t drawn up a cyber security policy, you’re not alone. But with cyber attacks on the rise, it’s time to change things up. Read on, for some key ways to ensure you’re cyber-attack-ready.


The benefits of being prepared for cyber attacks cannot be overstated. Detecting and responding quickly to incidents helps to mitigate damage and reduce financial and operational impacts.

According to a recent report by the UK government, the risks of attacks are now higher than ever, and businesses are finding it harder to cope. 
Many companies’ state of readiness for cybersecurity breaches remains poor. In fact, only around a third of companies have a documented cyber security policy in place.

The Importance of Having an Incident Response Plan

Incidents happen at unexpected and inopportune moments, compromising your employee’s decision-making abilities. For this reason, all staff need to have an understanding of their role and your organisational approach in advance. 
It is essential to set out clear protocols so everyone knows what their role is, and what’s expected of them in the event of a breach.

Your cybersecurity policy should cover:

  1. Who is responsible, and for what? What is their level of authoritity, e.g. are they permitted to take the website offline?
  2. At what point during an event (when something happens on your networks) does it become an incident?
  3. When and how should senior executives be informed - and about which types of incidents

What’s Preventing Good Incident Response Practices?

As the frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks have escalated, there has been a simultaneous increase in tools and technologies to counteract them. 
However, technology is not at the heart of the problem - it’s the fact that companies don’t have sufficient expertise to use them effectively.

The majority of cyber attacks occur because of human error - from failing to install security updates, to giving out sensitive information in phishing emails.

Preparing for Cyber Incidents

Here are a few ways to help you prepare for cyber attacks:
  • Define roles and responsibilities clearly and provide appropriate training
  • Consider how you will detect incidents and align all methods of detection, from logging and monitoring to reporting
  • Establish the criteria for escalating issues to senior management
  • Make sure your policy adheres to the appropriate guidelines based on the volume of data your company holds
  • Practice your response plans to highlight any common areas. Use the NCSC’s Exercise in a Box, a free online tool that helps you practice your response to different types of cyber attack

Responding to a cyber incident

  • Respond early, but don’t overreact, or there may be more serious repercussions
  • Communicate with stakeholders throughout an incident
  • Look at what went right, as well as what went wrong, with your response. Applying what’s been learnt in the aftermath of an incident will provide valuable insights into how to better prepare for future incidents
Cyber incident response management is a complex area since no two incidents are the same.

Firebrand’s certified cybersecurity training offers companies the operational strategies and processes they need to know about, before, during and after a cyber crisis.