4 Signs Your Business Experienced a Data Breach

Sam Bloedow
data breach by hacker

No matter your industry, your company’s data is valuable. Whether your database holds credit card information, legal documents or healthcare records, it could become a target for hackers. Criminals looking for industry secrets, client information or personal information about you or your employees have grown increasingly aggressive and resourceful. 

Worst of all, attackers can steal or corrupt data for days, weeks or even years before revealing themselves. According to a recent study by IBM Security and the Ponemon Institute, one in four companies will experience a data breach with the average global cost of a data breach at $4.35 million. In the U.S., that price goes up to $9.4 million. With all the different types of data breaches, how do you or your employees know if you've been hacked? Let’s look at four telltale signs.

1. Device Login Issues

Let’s face it, we all forget our passwords now and then. But if you’re 100% positive you’re entering the correct password, and you still can’t log in to your system, something could be wrong. A hacker who tries to access your account unsuccessfully may have locked it after trying to log in too many times. Worse, they might have successfully accessed your account and changed the password, so you can’t get back into it.

If any of your passwords suddenly stop working, and you’re positive you’ve entered them correctly, let IT security know, especially if your peers have mentioned similar concerns. Reporting is one of the best weapons against damage from recent data breaches. 

2. Computer Behaving Strangely

If your computer suddenly looks or acts differently than normal, something could be amiss. Common signs to watch for include:

  • Popup messages
  • Antivirus warnings
  • New toolbars in your internet browser
  • The mouse cursor moves by itself 

If you think you're affected, you mustn't try to stop it yourself. Hackers often want you to try to close popup windows or take control of your computer back so they can dig even deeper into your system. Let your managed IT services partner investigate before you do anything more.

3. Slow Network Connection

A slow computer isn’t necessarily alarming — regular system updates can sometimes slow things down. But if your system is running slowly, check with some of your peers. If they, too, are experiencing a slow network, you could be experiencing a data breach. Network slowdown could be caused by files transferring outside of your network. Notify your managed IT services partner immediately.

4. Suspicious Login Activity

Your business might operate out of a single office or it might have employees around the world. But if your network is being accessed from an unusual location — somewhere you’ve never done business — you may be at risk. Similarly, if someone logs into your network repeatedly over a short period of time, they may be attacking your system.

Alert your IT support about any suspicious logins. Network administrators can view logs of who’s accessing your network and from where. Make sure your IT team is monitoring for unusual login activity.

Know How to Prevent a Data Breach

There are many ways for someone to infiltrate your network, and once they have your data, the cost to recover could be substantial. These warning signs don’t cover every scenario, but they’ll help you notice possible security breaches before it’s too late. Make sure your network administrators and managed IT services partners are prepared to defend your business against attacks.

Do You Trust Your IT Partner?

Your IT partner should have a data breach response plan that addresses potential breaches quickly before major damage gets inflicted. At Thriveon, we take cybersecurity seriously and work to stay on top of threats before they become attacks. 

Want to protect your bottom line and your data? Watch our on-demand cybersecurity webinar to learn how to better protect your business from falling victim to a cyber attack. To meet with a cybersecurity expert, schedule a consultation today. We’d love to discuss your security strategy, data breach insurance and how Thriveon’s IT support is different.

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