Recover from a Cyberattack

Effective recovery from a cyberattack is crucial for advancing cybersecurity maturity and restoring business operations.

Recovering from cyberattacks is a vital part of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. Innovative companies need to always be operational. Recovering from a cyberattack is the process of restoring affected systems, networks and data to a secure and operational state after a security incident. It involves taking action to mitigate the damage caused by the attack, rebuild compromised or disrupted services and devices, analyzing the incident to prevent future attacks and return the organization’s operations back to normal.

The recovery process from a cyberattack includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    • Incident containment. The first step is to isolate and contain the impact of the cyberattack. This involves disconnecting affected systems from the network, disabling compromised accounts and implementing measures to prevent further spread or damage.
    • System or device restoration. Once the incident is contained, affected systems and networks are restored to a clean and secure state. This may involve rebuilding compromised systems from scratch, reinstalling software and applying security patches and updates. Automation and self-healing can help play a significant role in helping to get the business back to operational as quickly as possible.
    • Data recovery. Data that may have been compromised, encrypted or deleted during the attack needs to be recovered. This can involve restoring data from backups or employing specialized data recovery techniques to recover lost or encrypted files. Protecting data in isolated and/or immutable storage platforms can help ensure the protected data is also safe from cyber threats.
    • Forensic analysis. Forensic analysis is crucial to understand how the breach happened, what vulnerabilities were exploited and what steps can be taken to prevent similar attacks in the future. Tools like Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems can provide useful insights during this process. In addition, capabilities like off-host BIOS that enable comparison of corrupt BIOS are also insightful.
    • Incident response evaluation. After recovery, it’s essential to evaluate the incident response process and identify areas for improvement. Lessons learned from the attack can be used to enhance security practices, update incident response plans and provide better protection against future incidents.
    • Utilize AI/ML. Expedite recovery from a cyberattack by swiftly identifying affected systems and data and automating the restoration process from backups.
    • Practice, practice, practice. Most important is practicing recovery strategies multiple times to gain confidence that the business can be restored to meet business SLAs.
    • Experienced professional services and partnerships. Cybersecurity service providers and technology partners can bring valuable expertise and resources to help your organization recover from a cyberattack. They can assist with tasks such as forensic analysis, identifying how the breach occurred, ongoing penetration testing, vulnerability assessments and recommending measures to prevent future incidents.

Organizations need to assess the impact of an attack on their business operations and develop plans to ensure continuity. This starts with an assessment of your environment and may involve prioritizing critical services, deploying backup systems and communicating about the incident and recovery progress. Recovering from a cyberattack requires a coordinated effort involving IT teams, cybersecurity professionals, management and sometimes external partners. Remember, the key to recovery is not just getting systems and operations back to normal but also learning from the incident to minimize downtime, restore services and data integrity, strengthen cybersecurity posture and maturity and prevent similar attacks from occurring in the future. Keeping the business operational helps to ensure the business can continue to innovate and thrive.

Steve Kenniston

About the Author: Steve Kenniston

Steve Kenniston has been in the storage industry for over 25 years. From startup to global 2000 company, Steve has been a part of a number of storage inflection points in his career. He has worked for a number of startup companies including Connected Corp, Avamar, and Storwize all leading to acquisitions. He later worked for Iron Mountain, EMC, IBM and now Dell. Steve is currently the lead for the cybersecurity messaging.