Regional Conferences

28 Nationally held events each year
Austin Cybersecurity Conference

Don't wait for a breach to happen, take action and safeguard your digital assets now!  This is your chance to stay ahead of potential attacks by learning about the latest cybersecurity threats, trends, and solutions at the Austin Cybersecurity Conference.  Hear from cybersecurity experts and leaders, and connect with other cybersecurity professionals from the region while gaining an edge against nefarious cybersecurity threat actors.

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

Tampa Cybersecurity Conference

Gather alongside your fellow cybersecurity professionals at the Tampa Cybersecurity Conference, where you'll acquire invaluable insights to skillfully navigate the dynamic realm of cyber threats in 2024. Immerse yourself in the expertise of industry leaders and influential figures, while also engaging with representatives from top-tier global providers of cybersecurity solutions.

The Tampa Cybersecurity Conference provides a prime platform for connecting with peers and industry specialists in person. Engaging discussions will span a wide range of topics, encompassing emerging cybersecurity challenges and strategies to fortify your organization against advanced threat actors.

Explore the comprehensive spectrum of offerings available through Data Connectors for the Tampa Cybersecurity Conference, right here!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

Raleigh Cybersecurity Conference

Come and unite with fellow cybersecurity professionals at the Raleigh Cybersecurity Conference, your gateway to acquiring priceless insights for skillfully navigating the ever-changing landscape of cyber threats in 2024. Dive into the reservoir of knowledge shared by industry experts and influential leaders, while also engaging directly with representatives from elite global providers of cybersecurity solutions.

Embrace the Raleigh Cybersecurity Conference as your opportunity to forge connections with peers and industry specialists, all in a vibrant in-person setting. The dynamic discussions will traverse an array of topics, spanning from emerging cybersecurity challenges to ingenious strategies aimed at fortifying your organization against the prowess of advanced threat actors.

Discover the full spectrum of tailored offerings provided by Data Connectors, curated exclusively for the Raleigh Cybersecurity Conference, right here!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

Atlanta Cybersecurity Conference

Join forces with fellow cybersecurity professionals at the Atlanta Cybersecurity Conference, a hub for acquiring invaluable insights to expertly navigate the evolving landscape of cyber threats in 2024. Immerse yourself in the expertise of industry mavens and influential leaders while engaging with representatives from top-tier global providers of cybersecurity solutions.

The Atlanta Cybersecurity Conference offers a prime opportunity for direct connections with peers and industry specialists. Engaging discussions will span diverse topics, encompassing emerging cybersecurity challenges and strategies designed to fortify your organization against advanced threat actors.

Explore the comprehensive array of offerings tailored for the Atlanta Cybersecurity Conference through Data Connectors, available right here!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

St. Louis Cybersecurity Conference

Come together with fellow cybersecurity professionals at the St. Louis Cybersecurity Conference, your gateway to gathering invaluable insights for skillfully navigating the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats in 2024. Immerse yourself in the knowledge shared by industry experts and influential leaders, while engaging directly with representatives from top-tier global providers of cybersecurity solutions.

Embrace the St. Louis Cybersecurity Conference as your opportunity to connect with peers and industry specialists, all in a vibrant in-person setting. The dynamic discussions will traverse an array of topics, spanning from emerging cybersecurity challenges to ingenious strategies aimed at fortifying your organization against the prowess of advanced threat actors.

Discover the full spectrum of tailored offerings provided by Data Connectors, curated exclusively for the St. Louis Cybersecurity Conference, right here!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

OT/ICS Virtual Cybersecurity Summit

Come and join forces with fellow OT/ICS (Operational Technology/Industrial Control Systems) cybersecurity professionals at the OT/ICS Cybersecurity Virtual Summit, where you'll gain vital insights to adeptly navigate the intricate landscape of cyber threats in 2024. Immerse yourself in the wisdom shared by industry experts and influential leaders, while also engaging directly with representatives from top-tier global providers of cybersecurity solutions tailored for the OT/ICS domain.

Embrace the OT/ICS Cybersecurity Virtual Summit as your platform to connect with peers and industry specialists who understand the unique challenges of securing industrial systems. Engaging discussions will span a diverse range of topics, covering emerging cybersecurity threats in OT/ICS environments and innovative strategies aimed at safeguarding critical infrastructure against advanced threat actors.

Discover the full spectrum of specialized offerings provided by Data Connectors, meticulously designed for the OT/ICS Cybersecurity Conference, right here!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

Dallas Cybersecurity Conference

Unite with fellow cybersecurity professionals at the Dallas Cybersecurity Conference, a premier event designed to equip you with invaluable insights for skillfully navigating the dynamic landscape of cyber threats in 2024. Immerse yourself in the wisdom shared by industry visionaries and influential leaders, while also engaging directly with representatives from top-tier global providers of cybersecurity solutions.

Embrace the Dallas Cybersecurity Conference as your prime opportunity to connect with peers and industry experts, all within an engaging in-person environment. The dynamic discussions will encompass a diverse array of topics, from emerging cybersecurity challenges to ingenious strategies aimed at bolstering your organization against the ever-advancing tactics of threat actors.

Discover the full spectrum of tailored offerings provided by Data Connectors, exclusively curated for the Dallas Cybersecurity Conference, available right here!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

Healthcare & Pharma Virtual Cybersecurity Summit

Don't wait for a breach to happen, take action and safeguard your digital assets now!  This is your chance to stay ahead of potential attacks by learning about the latest cybersecurity threats, trends, and solutions at the Healthcare & Pharma Virtual Cybersecurity Conference.  Hear from cybersecurity experts and leaders, and connect with other cybersecurity professionals from the region while gaining an edge against nefarious cybersecurity threat actors.

Admission is $75 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

Boston Cybersecurity Conference

Step into the realm of cybersecurity excellence at the Boston Cybersecurity Conference, a paramount convergence where you'll unlock invaluable insights for masterfully navigating the ever-shifting landscape of cyber threats in 2023. Immerse yourself in the collective wisdom shared by industry vanguards and influential trailblazers, while directly engaging with representatives from elite global providers of cybersecurity solutions.

Embrace the Boston Cybersecurity Conference as your pivotal juncture to forge connections with peers and industry virtuosos, all within an engaging in-person environment. Engrossing discussions will span a diverse spectrum of topics, ranging from the forefront of cybersecurity challenges to ingenious strategies meticulously designed to fortify your organization against the unrelenting prowess of cyber adversaries.

Uncover the full array of intricately tailored offerings, meticulously crafted by Data Connectors exclusively for the Boston Cybersecurity Conference, ready and waiting for your exploration!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

Chicago Cybersecurity Conference

Embark on a journey of cybersecurity excellence at the Chicago Cybersecurity Conference, a paramount convergence where you'll unlock invaluable insights for masterfully navigating the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats in 2024. Immerse yourself in the collective wisdom shared by industry vanguards and influential trailblazers, while directly engaging with representatives from elite global providers of cybersecurity solutions.

Embrace the Chicago Cybersecurity Conference as your pivotal juncture to forge connections with peers and industry virtuosos, all within an engaging in-person environment. Engrossing discussions will span a diverse spectrum of topics, from the forefront of cybersecurity challenges to ingenious strategies meticulously designed to fortify your organization against the unrelenting prowess of cyber adversaries.

Uncover the full array of intricately tailored offerings, meticulously crafted by Data Connectors exclusively for the Chicago Cybersecurity Conference, ready and waiting for your exploration!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

MSSP Virtual Cybersecurity Summit 2024

Come together with fellow cybersecurity experts at the MSSP Virtual Cybersecurity Summit and acquire valuable insights to effectively combat the cyber threats that may emerge in 2024. This event will feature presentations by renowned professionals and thought leaders, as well as representatives from leading global providers of cybersecurity solutions.

The MSSP Virtual Cybersecurity Summit presents an opportunity for you to engage with peers and industry specialists through interactive online sessions. The discussions will cover a wide array of compelling subjects, spanning from the evolution of ransomware to strategies for safeguarding your organization against sophisticated threat actors.

Explore the full range of offerings available through Data Connectors now!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

Phoenix-Scottsdale Cybersecurity Conference

Don't wait for a breach to happen, take action and safeguard your digital assets now!  This is your chance to stay ahead of potential attacks by learning about the latest cybersecurity threats, trends, and solutions at the Phoenix Cybersecurity Conference.  Hear from cybersecurity experts and leaders, and connect with other cybersecurity professionals from the region while gaining an edge against nefarious cybersecurity threat actors.

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

SLED/FED Virtual Cybersecurity Summit

Embark on a transformative journey at the SLED/FED Virtual Summit, a visionary convergence where you'll unlock invaluable insights to navigate the dynamic landscape of government and education technology in 2024. Immerse yourself in the collective wisdom shared by SLED (State, Local, and Education) and FED (Federal) sector experts, while directly engaging with representatives from top-tier global innovators in government and education technology solutions.

Embrace the SLED/FED Virtual Summit as your pivotal opportunity to connect virtually with peers and industry leaders. Engaging discussions will span a diverse spectrum of topics, from groundbreaking technology deployments to innovative strategies meticulously designed to address the unique challenges and opportunities within the government and education sectors.

Uncover the full array of meticulously curated offerings, crafted exclusively by Data Connectors for the SLED/FED Virtual Summit, ready for your exploration and inspiration!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

Denver Cybersecurity Conference

Elevate your cybersecurity prowess at the Denver Cybersecurity Conference, an immersive gathering designed to equip you with invaluable insights for navigating the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats in 2024. Immerse yourself in the collective wisdom shared by industry luminaries and influential leaders, while engaging directly with representatives from top-tier global providers of cybersecurity solutions.

Embrace the Denver Cybersecurity Conference as your pivotal opportunity to connect with peers and industry specialists in a dynamic in-person setting. Engaging discussions will span a diverse array of topics, from emerging cybersecurity challenges to innovative strategies aimed at fortifying your organization against the relentless tactics of cyber adversaries.

Discover the full spectrum of tailored offerings provided by Data Connectors, exclusively curated for the Denver Cybersecurity Conference, ready for your exploration and advancement!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

Philadelphia Cybersecurity Conference

Embark on a transformative journey at the Philadelphia Cybersecurity Conference, where you'll immerse yourself in cutting-edge insights to skillfully navigate the evolving landscape of cyber threats in 2024. Engage with industry luminaries and influential leaders, while connecting directly with representatives from top-tier global providers of cybersecurity solutions.

Embrace the Philadelphia Cybersecurity Conference as your pivotal opportunity to connect with peers and industry experts in an engaging in-person environment. Engrossing discussions will span a diverse spectrum of topics, from emerging cybersecurity challenges to ingenious strategies meticulously crafted to fortify your organization against the ever-evolving tactics of cyber adversaries.

Uncover the full array of meticulously tailored offerings, exclusively curated by Data Connectors for the Philadelphia Cybersecurity Conference, awaiting your exploration and empowerment!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

DC/Baltimore Cybersecurity Conference

Embark on a transformative odyssey at the DC/Baltimore Cybersecurity Summit, where you'll plunge into cutting-edge insights to adroitly navigate the dynamic terrain of cyber threats in 2024. Engage with industry luminaries and influential leaders, while forging direct connections with representatives from top-tier global providers of cybersecurity solutions.

Embrace the DC/Baltimore Cybersecurity Summit as your pivotal juncture to connect with peers and industry experts in a stimulating in-person environment. Engrossing discussions will traverse a diverse spectrum of topics, from emerging cybersecurity frontiers to ingenious strategies meticulously honed to shield your organization against the ceaseless evolution of cyber adversaries.

Uncover the full panoply of artfully tailored offerings, exclusively curated by Data Connectors for the DC/Baltimore Cybersecurity Summit, eagerly awaiting your exploration and empowerment!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

GRC Virtual Cybersecurity Summit

Embark on an evolutionary journey at the GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) Virtual Summit, where you'll plunge into the cutting-edge realm of insights that will guide you through the intricate landscape of GRC challenges in 2024. Engage with industry authorities and influential visionaries, while establishing direct connections with representatives from top-tier global providers of innovative GRC solutions.

Embrace the GRC Virtual Summit as your pivotal moment to virtually connect with peers and professionals immersed in the GRC sphere. Engrossing discussions will span a diverse spectrum of topics, from emergent governance strategies to compliance dynamics and risk mitigation tactics, all meticulously designed to equip your organization with the tools it needs to thrive.

Uncover the complete spectrum of meticulously curated offerings, exclusively shaped by Data Connectors for the GRC Virtual Summit, poised for your exploration and empowerment!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

Toronto Cybersecurity Conference

Step into the realm of cutting-edge cybersecurity at the Toronto Cybersecurity Summit, a premier event that will equip you with the insights needed to navigate the dynamic landscape of cyber threats in 2024. Engage with industry leaders and influential experts, while establishing connections with representatives from top-tier global providers of cybersecurity solutions.

The Toronto Cybersecurity Summit is your gateway to connect with peers and professionals in the cybersecurity field. Immerse yourself in riveting discussions covering a diverse range of topics, from emerging threat landscapes to innovative strategies designed to fortify your organization against the ever-evolving tactics employed by cyber adversaries.

Uncover an extensive array of meticulously curated offerings, exclusively tailored by Data Connectors for the Toronto Cybersecurity Summit. These resources are ready to be explored, empowering you to enhance your cybersecurity knowledge and skills for a secure digital future!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

Vancouver Cybersecurity Conference

Embark on a transformative journey at the Vancouver Cybersecurity Summit, a pinnacle event that will equip you with the insights needed to navigate the dynamic landscape of cyber threats in 2024. Engage with industry luminaries and influential experts, while establishing connections with representatives from premier global providers of cybersecurity solutions.

The Vancouver Cybersecurity Summit is your gateway to connect with peers and professionals in the cybersecurity field. Immerse yourself in riveting discussions covering a diverse range of topics, from emerging threat landscapes to innovative strategies designed to fortify your organization against the ever-evolving tactics employed by cyber adversaries.

Uncover an extensive array of meticulously curated offerings, exclusively tailored by Data Connectors for the Vancouver Cybersecurity Summit. These resources are ready to be explored, empowering you to enhance your cybersecurity knowledge and skills for a secure digital future!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

Mexico City Cybersecurity Conference

Step into the world of cutting-edge cybersecurity at the Mexico City Cybersecurity Summit, a premier gathering designed to provide you with the insights necessary to navigate the dynamic landscape of cyber threats in 2024. Engage with industry leaders and influential experts, while forging connections with representatives from top-tier global providers of cybersecurity solutions.

The Mexico City Cybersecurity Summit serves as your doorway to connect with peers and professionals in the cybersecurity realm. Immerse yourself in captivating discussions covering a diverse range of topics, from emerging threat landscapes to innovative strategies meticulously designed to bolster your organization against the ever-evolving tactics employed by cyber adversaries.

Unearth a comprehensive array of meticulously curated offerings, exclusively tailored by Data Connectors for the Mexico City Cybersecurity Summit. These resources are poised for exploration, enabling you to enhance your cybersecurity knowledge and skills for a resilient digital future!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

Canada Virtual Cybersecurity Summit

Step into the realm of cutting-edge cybersecurity at the Canada Virtual Cybersecurity Summit, a premier virtual gathering designed to provide you with the insights necessary to navigate the dynamic landscape of cyber threats in 2024. Engage with industry leaders and influential experts, while establishing connections with representatives from top-tier global providers of cybersecurity solutions.

The Canada Virtual Cybersecurity Summit serves as your digital doorway to connect with peers and professionals in the cybersecurity realm. Immerse yourself in captivating discussions covering a diverse range of topics, from emerging threat landscapes to innovative strategies meticulously designed to fortify your organization against the ever-evolving tactics employed by cyber adversaries.

Unearth a comprehensive array of meticulously curated offerings, exclusively tailored by Data Connectors for the Canada Virtual Cybersecurity Summit. These resources are poised for exploration, enabling you to enhance your cybersecurity knowledge and skills for a resilient digital future!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

Dallas Winter Cybersecurity Conference

Enter the forefront of cybersecurity excellence with the Dallas Cybersecurity Summit, a top-tier event meticulously crafted to equip you with vital insights for navigating the dynamic terrain of cyber threats in 2024. Engage alongside industry leaders and influential experts, while cultivating connections with representatives from premier global providers of cybersecurity solutions.

The Dallas Cybersecurity Summit offers a prime avenue to connect with peers and professionals within the cybersecurity domain. Immerse yourself in captivating discussions spanning a diverse spectrum of topics, from emerging threat landscapes to innovative strategies meticulously tailored to fortify your organization against the ever-evolving tactics deployed by cyber adversaries.

Explore a comprehensive array of meticulously curated offerings, exclusively shaped by Data Connectors for the Dallas Cybersecurity Summit. These resources stand ready for exploration, empowering you to enhance your cybersecurity knowledge and skills for a secure digital future!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

Financial Virtual Cybersecurity Summit

Participate in the Financial Virtual Cybersecurity Summit, where you'll join forces with fellow financial industry experts to gain essential insights for navigating the complex landscape of cyber threats in 2024. Immerse yourself in the knowledge shared by seasoned professionals and influential leaders, while engaging directly with representatives from top-tier global providers of cybersecurity solutions tailored for the financial sector.

Embrace the Financial Virtual Cybersecurity Summit as your paramount opportunity to connect virtually with peers and industry specialists. Engaging discussions will delve into a wide spectrum of topics, from emerging financial cyber threats to innovative strategies aimed at fortifying your organization against the ever-evolving tactics of cybercriminals.

Discover the full spectrum of specialized offerings provided by Data Connectors, meticulously designed for the Financial Virtual Cybersecurity Summit, available right here!

Admission is $150 (without a promo code) for each attendee, which includes a full catered lunch, breakfast, snacks, cocktail networking reception, access to all educational presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibit hall.

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Our one-day events, held in up to 50 cities annually, gather hundreds of the region’s top cybersecurity professionals for a world-class conference experience. Attendees get access to influential security leaders and have the opportunity to attend sessions held by the nation’s top cyber solutions providers.

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Since 1999, Data Connectors has been creating a community of cybersecurity experts, solution providers and government agencies. Through our conferences and events across North America, we bring this community together through education-focused, interactive discussions and presentations.
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COMMUNITY NEWS

Incident Response Plan: How to Prepare for the Worst and Protect Your Business

Imagine learning that you’ve just suffered a cyber incident. A cyber incident might be one of your software vendors telling you they found your password on the dark web. Perhaps you log onto your computer only to see a ransomware message. Maybe you can’t log onto your computer — and no one at your company can.

What should you do? How should you respond? And how can you minimize the impact, contain the fallout, and get your business up and running as quickly as possible?

With a cybersecurity incident response plan. (via Decoding Cyber)

Let’s discuss.

What is a cybersecurity incident response plan?

An incident response plan is a documented framework that outlines specific steps and procedures you should take in the event of a cyber incident in real time.

Think of it as an organizational guide that ensures everyone from your security team to the IT department to executives are on the same page. 

The incident response plan will detail everyone’s roles, responsibilities, and specific actions as the cyber incident unfolds in real-time. It will include clear steps to help you identify, contain, and mitigate the cyber incident. It should provide a clear path to recovering from the incident, including retrieving all lost data and restoring all services. Your incident response plan should also include a pathway for you to critically examine the failures that led to the cyber incident and learn valuable lessons about preventing them in the future.

Who needs an incident response plan?

Regardless of size or industry, every organization needs an incident response plan.

Think about it — if you're a massive corporation, you have access to money and data, which is the main reason bad actors attack. But even if you're a small business, you probably do lots of things online, like email, accounting, and operating a website. Aside from website security, you need to be prepared for a cyber incident

In terms of industries, some are targeted more than others. For instance, manufacturing is now the most-attacked industry, representing nearly 25% of all cyberattacks globally. But finance, insurance, professional services, energy, retail, education, healthcare, government, transportation, and media are not far behind.  

The bottom line is that no matter what type or size of business you’re running, there’s an extremely high likelihood that once you assess the threat landscape (which every company needs to do), you’ll find yourself susceptible to being attacked. 

Why is an incident response plan essential?

An incident response plan is crucial because you can do everything right and still get attacked and suffer an incident.

Here’s what we mean.

Cybercrime has been rising for decades and shows no signs of slowing down, especially regarding incidents like ransomware. If you’re running a business, you must embrace the reality that getting attacked is a matter of “when,” not “if.” Sure, you want to do everything possible to lessen the likelihood of being attacked. But you also want to accept that virtually every business is exposed to being attacked and that if you let your guard down for a second, you may suffer a consequence like lost money, data, or time.

As discussed in our three-part series “In the Crosshairs,” we suggest taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity measures. While defensive stances like zero trust are critical in the modern digital business world, they’re not enough. You can’t just sit back and take a defensive posture to cybersecurity. Sooner or later, cybercriminals will find an entry point to your network and systems. You want to engage with cyber criminals to get in front of them and make them think twice about attacking you.

Cybersecurity is like a long and ongoing war because there will always be cyberattacks in the digital universe. In this war, you can’t win once and for all vanquishing your enemies forever. Instead, you strive to win every battle, but they will win a battle or two. When that happens, when you experience an incident (minor or significant), your incident response plan comes into play.

Creating an incident response plan makes sense, especially when artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly factoring into cybersecurity. Let’s say you take every single bit of our advice and meticulously and strategically plan for every possibility throughout your organization. As an aside, we suggest doing this! Why not be prepared for every possible outcome? An incident response plan is part of that preparation. Let’s look at some benefits!


3 benefits of an incident response plan

Three benefits of an incident response plan

An incident response plan will guide your business. When everyone knows that policies and procedures are in place to mitigate the damage and restore operations, they’ll be more likely to keep calm and carry on. Let’s look at the benefits of an incident response plan in more detail.

1. Minimize downtime 

With a well-defined incident response plan, organizations can quickly detect and mitigate security incidents, reducing the duration of downtime. This helps prevent financial losses, reputational damage, and potential regulatory penalties.

2. Reduce confusion

An incident response plan establishes a transparent chain of command, ensuring that the right individuals are notified and involved in incident handling, thus reducing confusion. This promotes efficient communication, coordination, and decision-making during high-pressure situations.

3. Improve compliance

An incident response plan can help ensure that your organization can demonstrate that you are protecting sensitive data and systems required by regulators. For example, organizations must have an incident response plan to comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) regulations.

We are now ready to dive into how to develop an incident response plan and how it differs from other similar initiatives. The meat of the article! Get your forks and knives ready. We serve it up fast, easy to consume, and above all… deliciously helpful!


6 steps to develop an effective incident response plan

Six steps to develop an effective incident response plan

Developing an effective incident response plan requires a systematic approach. Here are the critical steps to consider:

1. Conduct a risk assessment

Conduct a thorough assessment of potential risks and vulnerabilities to understand the organization's cybersecurity landscape. This assessment will help identify potential threats, their impact, and the likelihood of occurrence.

2. Establish a response team

Form a dedicated incident response team comprising representatives from IT, security, legal, HR, and other relevant departments. Define roles, responsibilities, and escalation procedures to ensure efficient incident handling.

3. Create an incident response framework

Develop a step-by-step framework that outlines the actions to be taken during each phase of incident response, such as detection, analysis, containment, eradication, recovery, and post-incident analysis.

4. Test your plan and train your team

Do not overlook the importance of this step! Many do, and they pay the price when they need to rely on their incident response plan during an actual cyber incident. Regularly test and update the incident response plan, conduct simulated exercises, and provide training to ensure all team members know their roles and responsibilities. This helps identify any gaps or areas for improvement.

5. Collaborate with external partners

Establish relationships with external partners, such as incident response service providers and law enforcement agencies. These partnerships can provide additional expertise, resources, and support during an incident.

6. Prioritize continual improvement

Incident response is an ongoing process, and it is vital to learn from each incident. Conduct post-incident reviews and incorporate lessons learned into the plan to enhance future response capabilities.

Do you still have questions on how to craft an incident response plan? Hit the AMA Request button, and we can help!

Is an incident response plan different from a disaster recovery plan?

An incident response plan is different from a disaster recovery plan. A disaster recovery plan is designed to help a company recovery from any type of incident (or disaster) after the disaster.

An incident response plan narrowly focuses on addressing cyber incidents during a cyberattack in real time. Keep these two critical differences in mind. A disaster recovery plan:

  1. Focuses on recovering tech and data after a disaster

  2. Applies to human or natural disasters 

Building on that second point, a disaster recovery plan provides procedures and protocols to recover and restore critical systems even if they didn’t originate with a cyberattack, such as:

  • Data loss and failed backups

  • Network interruptions

  • Hardware failure 

  • Utility outages 

  • On-site threats and physical dangers 

While your business should have a disaster recovery plan, remember that it’s not the same as an incident recovery plan — you need both. But what about a business continuity plan?

Is an incident response plan different from a business continuity plan?

An incident response plan is also different from a business continuity plan. A business continuity plan is vital in minimizing the effects of a company during the disaster (human-induced or natural); however, it does not address the underlining issue, like a cyber incident.

Again, an incident response plan narrowly focuses on addressing cyber incidents during a cyberattack in real time. A business continuity plan is broad and ensures the business can continue its essential functions during a crisis (cyber or otherwise), minimizing the impact on operations, customers, and stakeholders. A business continuity plan includes strategies for communication, alternate work arrangements, resource allocation, and prioritization of critical activities.

Both might sound similar to a disaster recovery plan, but a disaster recovery plan focuses on restoring data access and IT infrastructure after a disaster.

An incident response, disaster recovery, and business continuity plan can have overlapping elements, but they are distinct plans. The key is to remember that they’re critical in their own way — each one plays a role in keeping your business safe and secure in the face of external threats. Don't worry if you find them somewhat confusing; we can help! Hit the AMA Request button, and we can walk you through it.

Conclusion

A well-developed incident response plan is critical to an organization's cybersecurity strategy. It enables swift and effective responses to security incidents, minimizing the potential damage caused by cyber threats. By understanding the importance of incident response plans and related strategies like disaster recovery and business continuity plans, organizations can fortify their defenses and better protect their valuable assets from the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats.

 

How to Guard Against Ransomware on a Budget

Ransomware is malware that a bad cyber actor installs on your computer systems, encrypting essential files to hold your business hostage in exchange for money. It’s a massive cyber threat with staggering costs. (via Decoding Cyber)

Consider these five stats:

  • 68% of all cyberattacks worldwide are ransomware.

  • 217 million of them occur in the United States (ranked first).

  • The global damages for ransomware exceed $30 billion.

  • The average cost of a data breach caused by ransomware is $4.54 million (doesn’t even include the actual ransom payment).

  • 78% of organizations say they’re “very” or “extremely” prepared to thwart a ransomware breach — yet half of them still suffer attacks anyway.

If you’re running a business, should these numbers terrify you? Yes and no. On the “yes” side, you must continually remember that this threat is never going away. Within the larger cyber war, ransomware is a significant battle perpetrated by bad actors who will likely never give up this tactic.

But that leads to the “no” part of the equation: cybercriminals will leverage ransomware only insofar as organizations make it easy. If you guard your company doors and windows and install a state-of-the-art security system, you are lessening the likelihood that cybercriminals will devote their resources to you when they can just go to your less secure neighbor. In other words, don’t be an easy target.

When framed in these terms, guarding against ransomware should go from “scary, expensive, and impossible” to “manageable within our budget.” By understanding the basics about vulnerabilities within your systems and networks, you will be in a great position to implement — and maintain — a solid ransomware defense with existing resources and minimal extra costs.

So here are three ways to guard against ransomware while not breaking the bank.

1. Implement a strong cybersecurity posture

The best way to protect against ransomware is to implement a strong cybersecurity posture that includes the following, most of which can be done with your current IT folks, i.e., without paying a single dime to a vendor:

  • Regularly update software and operating systems: This will help patch vulnerabilities that ransomware could exploit. The keys here are to be diligent and thorough and not to wait around. The last thing you want is to suffer an attack because you were a few hours late on a software update. 

  • Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication (MFA): This will make it more difficult for cybercriminals to access your systems. All you have to do is ensure that everyone in your organization follows password security best practices.

  • Educate employees about ransomware attack vectors: This will help your teams identify phishing emails and other social engineering tactics commonly used to spread ransomware. It’s not particularly tough to see when scammers are trying to bait you into clicking a malicious link or handing over personal info. But you must be in the right, alert mindset, because getting caught up in daily work and responding to phishing attacks is easy. That’s why ongoing cyber awareness is critical. Fortunately, plenty of free programs are online, including us here at decodingCyber.

  • Back up your data regularly: This will give you a copy of your data if it is encrypted by ransomware. Depending on the volume of data you traffic in, you might have to shell out some green for this service. But think about it — what would you rather do? Suffer a cyber attack and: 

    • A: Not correctly back up your data and not have any way to run your business without said data.

    • B: Correctly back up your data and have a way to run your business with said backed-up data.

    • C: Do nothing and hope the ransomware magically does away.

    • Psst… the correct answer is “B,” don’t be tempted by “C.”

2. Implement a layered security approach

A layered security approach is a defense in depth strategy that uses multiple levels of security to protect against ransomware. I’m not going to lie; this might be the one place where you have to open up your wallet. But you might already be doing these things; you just need to check:

  • Deploy endpoint security: Endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions are critical to protect your corporate assets, such as phones, computers, and servers (aka… your “endpoints” or physical devices connecting to and exchanging information with your network). Consider this part of a larger attack surface management strategy.

  • Account for proper network security: This will protect and monitor your network. The network is how data flows throughout your organization to and from endpoints. This includes firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS), and network segmentation.

  • Lock down your data: After your endpoints and network are secure, you want to protect what flows within your corporate network: the data. This includes data encryption, data loss prevention (DLP), and access controls.

3. Have a ransomware response plan in place

A ransomware response plan is a set of procedures to help you recover from a ransomware attack. These types of incident response plans are essential for two main reasons:

  1. They encourage a defensive mindset. Creating them should compel you to ask yourself, “Are we doing everything we think we’re doing to thwart an attack, and how do we know?”

  2. They help minimize downtime. If you suffer a major cyber attack, being prepared will help you minimize the time your systems are down, which has risen from about two weeks to three weeks on average, according to Statista.

Your plan can be made with little to no money spent (assuming you have the expertise within your company to oversee the process) and should include the following six steps:

Step 1: Prevention

Refer to the first two points above and document them. This will help you ensure you are adequately addressing the potential threat.

Step 2: Detection

You want to determine how you will confirm you are dealing with a ransomware attack. Believe it or not, there are some false alarms. At this stage, you will also want to outline how to identify the type of ransomware and the systems affected, leading to the next step.

Step 3: Containment and Isolation

You want to discuss ways to stop the spread of malware and isolate an infected system. This will help to prevent the ransomware from spreading to other systems. Proper network segmentation will be crucial in the containment phase.

Step 4: Communication

If you are dealing with ransomware, don’t call 911.
 

Pro-Tip

If you are dealing with ransomware in the US, don’t call 911. Report it to:

  1. IC3

  2. FBI

  3. CISA

This is where you plan all your communication. This might be the most essential step. Think about things like:

  • How to engage with your cyber insurance provider (assuming you have one). Will your insurance cover this? If so, what will your provider do? These questions help you determine your liabilities. 

  • How to communicate with your customers and stakeholders. This will help maintain trust and minimize the attack's impact; you are likely legally obligated to do so.

  • How to communicate with your attacker. Do you negotiate with them? Will you pay the ransom?

  • How to communicate with law enforcement. When and how do you need to engage law enforcement? Who do you call?

Step 5: Mitigation

Write out how you plan to deal with the malware. Who can you rely on for assistance? If this is covered by insurance, what will they help with? This is where you want to take your time and ensure all the critical stakeholders are at the table to plan your response strategy.

Step 6: Recovery and Assessment

At this point in your plan, determine how to restore your data (assuming it is encrypted via the attack). This will ensure you can regain access to your data, most likely from a backup. Data encrypted via a ransomware attack can rarely be decrypted. Make sure you run a backup and restoration test(s). The last thing you want to do here is accept, “Well, in theory, our customer data can be restored… according to the vendor. I think, right?”

You will want to discuss how to draft an assessment of the situation after it ends. Will you have to rebuild your network? What will trigger that decision? Who will decide? After all, a bad actor was inside your network and might have seen other vulnerabilities, creating a backdoor for them to re-enter later. Who will be allowed to see this report? Will any of this be discoverable should there be a legal dispute? Ensure your legal team/representative is actively engaged in drafting this step and reviews the entire plan.

Conclusion

In the digital world, bad cyber actors will attack most businesses at one time or another. But that doesn’t mean yours will suffer the terrible consequences of a ransomware attack. By implementing a strong cybersecurity posture and a layered security approach, you can reduce the chance that an attack will work. By staying current on the latest threats and trends and creating a ransomware response plan, you can protect your business from ransomware without breaking the bank.

Ransomware Attacks, Payouts are Declining

Good news is often hard to come by, so enjoy this while you can: ransomware attacks are actually declining – at least that’s what the data are telling us.

Across the United States and the United Kingdom, organizations and governments are touting the accomplishment of a net decrease in ransomware attacks between 2021 and 2022. And while headlines highlighted various attacks on schools and organizations, the prevalence of cyber attacks of this nature have actually shrunk by 61%, according to data from Delinea.

That survey also found that the number of companies paying the ransom dropped from 82% to 68%, according to Security Magazine – citing the possibility that this might be the impact of widespread efforts to raise awareness by government agencies like the FBI. Per Coveware, a cyber-intelligence firm, the number of victims who chose to pay a ransom was 76% in 2019; in 2022, that number dropped to 41%.

According to an article from Bleeping Computer, this is partially because victims realize that paying the ransom doesn’t guarantee the return of files. In addition, the attacks don’t have the same negative impact on public perception as they used to, and companies as simply better equipped to handle it – both on a technical level and a PR one.

The US and British governments have worked to crack down on threat actors, potentially contributing to the overall drop, according to a press release. Through economic and financial sanctions and travel bans lobbied against threat actors, the governments are offering a concerted effort to slow the impact of ransomware, according to the release.

The Justice Department in the US has declared a victory in a battle against the Hive ransomware variant via a “21st century cyber stakeout” – wherein the DOJ swiped decryption keys and passed them to the victims to “free them from ransomware,” according to a statement from Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.

“For months, we helped victims defeat their attackers and deprived the Hive network of extortion profits,” Monaco remarked earlier this year. “Simply put, using lawful means, we hacked the hackers.”

The overall decrease in ransomware profits totaled about 40% — a significant drop from the record-breaking $765 million according to a report from Bleeping Computer. However, the total value of $457 million received by attackers in 2022 is still significantly higher than the pre-pandemic $174 million in 2019.

But in a world where threats are getting far more complex, it’s easy to ignore the good news… and that might not be a bad thing, according to a column from CISO Tyler Farrar of Exabeam in Dark Reading.

“Ransomware gangs are like weeds. When one is taken down, others pop up in its place., the biggest takeaways that security professionals should learn from the government’s initiatives to stop Hive are that collaboration, with the right security tools, training, and incident-response plans, are key,” he wrote. “By taking the time to learn from RaaS groups and making the right security investments, security teams will be able to have the upper hand.”

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