Cyber Attack Management: 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Your Website is Attacked

Ten Things Not to Do If Your Website Suffers a Cyber Attack


A cyber-attack on a website refers to the thoughtful attempt by hackers or mischievous individuals to compromise the security of a website for various reasons, including gaining unauthorized access, stealing sensitive information, disturbing services, or spoiling the site. Websites are valuable properties for individuals, businesses, and organizations, making them smart targets for cybercriminals. Different types of cyber-attacks can be done on websites, each with its specific purpose and technique. Here are some common forms of cyber-attacks on websites:

SQL Injection (SQLi): Attackers abuse weaknesses in a website’s database by injecting malicious SQL code. This can lead to unauthorized access, manipulation, or theft of sensitive data.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): Malicious scripts are injected into web pages, which, when viewed by other users, can implement arbitrary code in the users’ browsers. This can be used to steal session cookies or perform other malicious activities.

Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF): This attack tricks users into performing actions on a website without their knowledge or consent. It can lead to unauthorized changes in user settings or data.

Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS): These attacks aim to overpower a website’s servers with excessive traffic, making the site slow or unavailable to genuine users.

Brute Force Attacks: Hackers attempt to gain access to a website by systematically trying various username and password combinations until they find the correct ones.

Phishing: Cybercriminals create fake websites that mimic legitimate ones to trick users into providing sensitive information, such as login IDs or credit card details.

Ransom-ware Attacks: Attackers may encrypt a website’s files and demand a ransom for the decoding key. If the ransom is not paid, the website’s data may remain unreachable.

Website Defacement: Hackers change the appearance of a website by replacing its content with their own, often to spread a political or ideological message.

DNS Spoofing: Attackers manipulate the Domain Name System (DNS) to redirect users to fake websites, leading to possible data theft or other cyber threats.

Zero-Day Exploits: Exploiting weaknesses in a website’s software or plugins that are unknown to the website owner or the software vendor.

This is the time which is dominated by digital world, the threat of cyber-attacks appears large over websites of all sizes and types. The outcome of a cyber-attack can be disordered, with potentially disturbing consequences for businesses and their investors. In this article, we will explore ten crucial mistakes to avoid when facing a cyber-attack, aiming to guide organizations toward a more planned and effective response.

1. Panic:

One of the most detrimental reactions to a cyber-attack is panic. In the midst of a crisis, emotions run high, but allowing panic to dictate actions can exacerbate the situation. Panic might lead to rushed decisions, overlooking critical details, and a failure to implement a coherent response plan. Instead, maintaining a calm and collected demeanor is essential for navigating through the challenges of a cyber-attack.

2. Delay:

Time is of the essence during a cyber-attack. Delaying the response can provide attackers with the opportunity to further exploit vulnerabilities, escalate the damage, and compromise sensitive information. Rapid identification and containment of the breach are crucial. Every passing minute without a strategic response increases the risk and potential fallout.

3. Attempting to Handle It Alone:

In the face of a cyber-attack, the temptation to resolve the issue internally may arise. However, cyber security threats have become increasingly smart, requiring specialized knowledge to address effectively. Attempting to handle the situation alone, without the assistance of cyber security experts, can lead to prolonged downtime, increased damage, and a higher likelihood of reappearance.

4. Ignoring Legal and Regulatory Obligations:

Cyber-attacks often involve the compromise of sensitive data, activating legal and regulatory responsibilities. Ignoring these duties, such as data breach notifications, can result in harsh consequences, including legal action and financial penalties. Following to legal requirements is not only a legal necessity but also a serious step in rebuilding trust with affected parties.

5. Neglecting Communication:

Communication is important during a cyber-attack. Failing to communicate clearly with investors, customers, and employees can increase the sense of uncertainty and destroy trust. Providing timely updates on the situation, the steps being taken to address the problem, and any necessary actions for partners to take is essential for managing the outcome of a cyber-attack.

6. Not Learning From the Attack:

Every cyber-attack provides valuable lessons. Failing to conduct a thorough analysis of the incident and learn from it is a missed opportunity. Understanding how the break occurred, the tactics used by attackers, and the weaknesses exploited is important for implementing effective preventive measures and building a more resilient cyber-security infrastructure.

7. Overlooking Employee Training:

Humans are often the weakest link in cyber-security. Neglecting ongoing employee training can leave an organization vulnerable to social engineering attacks and human errors that contribute to security breaches. Regular training programs that educate employees about potential threats, phishing attacks, and security best practices are essential for creating a vigilant workforce.

8. Failing to Update Security Measures:

Cyber threats evolve rapidly, and so must security measures. Failing to promptly update software, install patches, and enhance cyber-security tools leaves a website exposed to known vulnerabilities. Regularly updating security measures, including antivirus programs, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems, is critical for staying one step ahead of cyber threats.

9. Neglecting Regular Backups:

Data is a precious asset, and losing it during a cyber-attack can be catastrophic. Neglecting regular data backups increases the risk of irretrievable loss. Implementing a robust backup strategy, including offsite backups, ensures that critical information can be restored in the aftermath of an attack, minimizing the impact on business operations.

10. Ransom Payment:

When faced with ransom-ware attack, the desire to pay the ransom may be strong, especially if important data is at risk. However, paying the ransom not only provides money for criminal activities but also does not guarantee the recovery of data. Organizations should explore alternative solutions, such as involving law enforcement and cyber-security professionals, to lessen the effect of ransom-ware attacks.


In conclusion, navigating the aftermath of a cyber-attack requires a strategic and well-thought-out response. Avoiding the pitfalls of panic, delay, and attempting to handle the situation alone is crucial. Organizations must prioritize communication, learn from the attack, invest in employee training, regularly update security measures, and implement robust backup strategies. By steering clear of these ten common mistakes, businesses can build resilience against cyber threats and safeguard their online presence in an increasingly digital world.

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