Effective 7 Responses that should be given by CEOs and CTOs during a Cyber Attack

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In the face of a cyber attack targeting a company’s IT infrastructure, the world expects swift and effective responses from its CEOs and CTOs to mitigate risks and minimize losses. However, many find themselves in a state of panic during such incidents due to a lack of preparedness. Here, we provide a comprehensive list of guidelines and recommended reactions for CEOs and CTOs when dealing with a digital attack:

Transparent Communication: It is crucial to maintain transparency during a cyber attack. While fear may drive some CEOs and CTOs to conceal the incident, the law mandates reporting any cyber incident resulting in data breach or theft within a 72-hour timeframe. Instead of providing hourly updates to the public through the media, consider issuing weekly status updates to maintain control over the narrative.

Government Notification: Wise CEOs and CTOs promptly inform government agencies such as the SEC and law enforcement, including the FBI. This collaboration can lead to timely warnings that help prevent others from falling victim to the same attack, thus averting a crisis.

Know Whom to Contact: Prior knowledge of whom to contact within government agencies overseeing cyberattacks and information sharing is essential. CEOs and CTOs should be well-prepared in this regard.

Proactive Approach: Adopt a proactive approach to cybersecurity. Regular tabletop exercises and preparedness plans should be established and executed annually to validate their effectiveness. Additionally, the company must outline clear procedures for contacting the relevant parties in case of a ransomware attack or similar events.

Network Architecture Preparedness: CEOs and CTOs should possess a comprehensive understanding of their business IT networks and operational frameworks. Identifying and addressing vulnerabilities in advance is crucial. Being aware of what to do beforehand allows for quick reactions tailored to the situation, reducing risks.

Access to Expert Assistance: Not all companies can maintain an in-house security team. In such cases, consider hiring security experts when needed. Having a forensic expert available to negotiate with hackers during a malware attack can be invaluable.

Handling Public Scrutiny: Digital attacks often result in negative attention on CEOs and CTOs. While some display resilience in facing the situation head-on, a few opt to resign due to the pressure of the blame game. To navigate this, all CEOs and CTOs should possess the mental fortitude to withstand scrutiny and focus on finding solutions to the immediate problem.

In conclusion, the strategies outlined above provide CEOs and CTOs with a structured approach to dealing with cyber attacks, promoting transparency, collaboration, and preparedness. As the landscape of cyber threats continues to evolve, adapting and refining these responses will be essential to safeguarding the integrity and security of a company’s digital assets.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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