Vital communications during a cyberattack

communications during a cyberattack

Crises communications for the cybersecurity age

Preparing for a cyberattack has unfortunately become the sort of eventuality every CISO and IT need to recognize. While it is not something anyone wants to do, it is becoming necessary because it is no longer “if” your system will suffer an attack, but “when.”

But imagine if IT was able to coordinate their response during a cyberattack so that the impact of business interruptions was managed?  This blog offers some insights on how to do just that by:

  • Highlighting the need for strong communication protocols
  • Looking into what a plan needs to encompasses
  • Examining the components of a strong post-attack plan

Employ robust communication protocols and devices

Most companies rely on internal email to communicate in the event of a crisis, despite the fact that a cyberattack might impact the email network itself. They also rely on phone and fax although those technologies are also easily compromised during an attack.

Ideally, the technology resorted to in the event of an attack will be a secure, cloud-based, robust platform for communication than can be used on a smartphone. By having a cloud-based platform, the communication channel will not be under attack like the rest of the company’s communications tools which are PC-based.

While it is important to scrutinize the security of smartphones, it should be noted that the security of smartphone devices is much easier to update than that of typical laptops and desktops. Smartphones are isolated from these concerns and, with proper protocols in place, can have security updated much more easily.

Establish a plan

Given the knowledge that they could easily be a target, companies need to plan for the unexpected. More importantly, they need to consider how best to ensure critical functionality and communications in the event of a cyberattack. Readiness spells the difference between an organization that suffer major breaches with harmful effects and an organization that will recover quickly with minimal impact.

The importance of having a plan for communications during an attack cannot be overstated. Communication plans need to provide instructions for how team members will be notified and updated during the attack. In the process of executing on this plan, teams need to use a strong incident alert management platform. By using this sort of secure platform, users have access to encrypted messaging that is unreadable by anyone other than the intended user and recipient. An application (like OnPage) provides end-to-end encryption to secure messaging from the sender all the way to the receiver. Through this method, the confidentiality of the message remains intact at all times.

Post attack plan

A post-mortem analysis should be part of your incident response plan.  Teams should schedule a post-mortem as soon after the incident as possible so that recall and responses taken are not forgotten.

Make sure your team has a reporting engine in place to record messages, time stamps of when messages were received, and records of incident acknowledgements. By having a post-mortem report with this information, businesses can translate it into a positive working plan to protect against future attacks.


Cybersecurity incidents are a persistent menace. Businesses need to consider incident response plans that address the possibility of degraded operation while also considering how to achieve an efficient restoration and recovery. Clearly, maintaining strong communications during the course of the cyberattack is an important part of returning to business as normal.  To achieve this goal, businesses are best served by employing encrypted cloud-based communications.

To read more about how your company can prepare for robust communications during a cyberattack, download our whitepaper Secure IT Communications When You WannaCry.

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