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Article | How to restore trust after a cyber-attack?

Cyber-attacks have become the worst nightmare of most organizations, regardless of their size or industry. Back in March 2021, CNA Financial, an insurance company, paid out $40 million to hackers following a ransomware attack. In July 2020, Meow, a virus targeting poorly secured databases to destroy their contents, attacked UFO VPN as well as Elasticsearch, destroying 1,395 databases. Many large companies, administrations and other operators dealing with sensitive data are heavily investing to improve their detection rate but remain nevertheless the targets of attacks. So, what can be done and how do you restore trust after an attack?

What happens in the aftermath of a cyber-attack?

Beyond the financial cost of a cyber-attack occurred by data loss, business interruption, expensive recovery procedures, the loss of trust generated by the attack must also be taken seriously. And this is not only because of the loss of customers and partners. Indeed, if IT teams cannot trust the data they use to restore your systems, recovery can be long, tedious and even more costly.

So, before anything else, it is critical that teams take action to ensure that the affected environment is clear to resume normal operations. The first step after an attack is thus to bring in an IT security team (internal or external) to initiate the incident response process, which consists of detection and analysis, containment, eradication and recovery.

The technical analysis is the backbone of the process. It is necessary to identify the security breach that caused the malware to enter the system and the infected files. It allows the implementation of measures to:

– eradicate the malware
– Eliminate the vulnerabilities that allowed the attackers to get in
– Restore the systems once they have been disinfected.

It is however important to remember that in the wake of an attack, it’s not possible for a business to simply shut down and wait until it can be sure that the files are 100% safe. That’s why anticipating cybersecurity incidents and designing response and recovery strategies for different types of attacks can actually save your company’s future.

Restoring trust after a cyberattack

Companies that already suffered an attack will obviously be more vigilant. They will communicate on good practices to avoid being targeted, train their employees to recognize and avoid attacks, etc. But if all these measures are important, they are not sufficient. There is no way of being 100% protected, so you should always have a disaster recovery plan in place.

Whether you set up a team of in-house cyber experts or outsource, don’t underestimate the importance of identifying your biggest risks, and plan what to do if something goes wrong.

Key steps of a recovery plan:

– Clear roles and responsibilities
– Quick recovery actions checklist
– Business continuity plan under cyber-attack with workarounds for critical processes
– Secure backup system for disaster recovery
– Recovery or reconstruction of lost data processes
– Analysis and continuous improvement: Security protocols reinforcement, password change, information and training of employees, …

The U.S. government has made available a comprehensive process for implementing your cyberattack recovery plan.

Recovery is a matter of survival for a company, so allocating additional resources can be a good idea to be able to react quickly to a potential crisis and do not hesitate to hire experts to speed up the process.

How does QFlow help CERTs restore trust after an attack?

QFlow is a powerful automated analysis system for malware detection. As a centralized platform for large enterprise security operations teams, it helps restore trust after an attack with a powerful real-time file analysis capacity. It’s a way to automate pre-recovery analysis operations, the system doing instantly what it would otherwise take your teams two weeks to do by hand.

For example, when the consulting firm Sopra Steria, the European leader in consulting, digital services and software development, was attacked, they used QFlow to perform a data analysis. The goal was to identify which data was infected and which was not, in order to restart the activity as soon as possible. Following this successful operation, QuarksLab and Sopra Steria became partners in providing a unique and sovereign email analysis service, of which the QFlow platform is an essential part.

So, if you’re creating an in-house SOC CERT (Security Operations Center/Computer Emergency Response Team) or optimizing an existing one, QFlow can help maximize the detection rate. During an attack, QFlow can also be used to implement a rapid response strategy to offload the teams responsible for auditing file security and allow trust to be restored more quickly.

Because no single tool can fully protect your business, combining multiple tools on a single scalable platform will increase your ability to defend yourself. The QFlow platform centralizes and automates the analysis of thousands of files in real time. With a wide variety of detection and analysis tools, and the flexibility to integrate your own tools, QFlow thus enables you to adapt to the type of threat you are fighting against and control all the entry points of your IT system (workstations, keys, etc.). With QFlow, you can get the most out of your IT security investment. Request a demo now!

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