If your business was the victim of a cyberattack tomorrow, whom would you call?
For many organizations, the immediate response following a breach is to contact law enforcement. Depending on the business and severity of the situation, this could mean calling a local law enforcement branch or reaching out to the FBI.
It's a wise decision made at the wrong time. By the time an attack has occurred, it's already too late to coordinate a rapid and effective response with law enforcement agencies.
"It is very important, prior to a breach, for a business to have a relationship with law enforcement," explains information security consultant Shane Shook. "Too often, there is no pre-existing relationship, no means of communication."
This communication gap can prove dangerous for victims of cybercrime.
If your organization's first contact with law enforcement takes place the day of a breach, you risk having the wrong responders arrive on site. It will take time to secure the right experts and provide them with the information they need, a delay that leaves businesses vulnerable.
This problem affects organizations of all sizes. Shook, who has worked on large breaches, including the Sony and Target attacks, explains how major organizations struggled in the critical response stages. It was a slow process to contact law enforcement and establish the communication and chains of command necessary to respond, he says.
Given the rampant increase in cybercrime, businesses should be building a rapport with law enforcement so they know whom to contact following a breach. These relationships should start at the local and regional levels of law enforcement, says Shook.
It's an important step in building a cybersecurity strategy, and most businesses fail to take it. Historically, most organizations are shy about partnering with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies because it might reveal sensitive information.
In this day and age, however, these relationships are critical amid the growing risk to businesses. Law enforcement agencies should be viewed as partners to assist in emergencies, says Shook, and more businesses should be open to their help.
Here, we take a closer look at the law enforcement agencies to know before a cyberattack takes place, and which to contact in the aftermath of a breach. Has your organization started to build a relationship with law enforcement? Do you intend to? Which agencies have you worked with?