What to Do if Your Computer Network is Hacked?
Computer networks are an integral component of any successful business. Many owners don’t realize how vulnerable these networks can be to hackers without proper security software. In the event of a hack, there are a few steps that need to be taken. Here are some strategies to keep in mind if your computer network is hacked.
Disconnect the Computer Network
Before continuing on with damage control, it is important to ensure the hacking cannot continue. Disconnecting the computer network is the first step after such an incident. This prevents the previous hacker from making another attempt or from launching a virus from your computer. If the computer network is connected via ethernet, unplug the chords from the wall and back of the computer. When running a network via wifi, disconnect the central router and turn off wifi capability on each computer. Disconnecting the entire computer network helps to prevent a future attack and makes it easier to solve the hacking problem.
Remove and Scan the Hard Drive
After disconnecting the entire computer network from the internet, it is time to salvage the hard drives. Start by turning off all of the computers. This may help to prevent further damage as some malware and viruses can cause damage on a computer without internet access. Open up the computers and carefully take out the hard drives. If you’re not comfortable with this process, hire a local computer repair company to help. Once the hard drives have been removed, it is time to plug them into another computer. It is important to make sure the computer has anti-spyware and anti-virus programs, as the hard drives may still contain malware from the hacking. A USB drive caddy should be used instead of attaching the hard drive directly to another computer.
Scan the Hard Drive for Files and Malware
Once the hard drives have been connected to a new computer, you can safely scan to see what kind of malware had been installed. Don’t worry about potential viruses at this point. Instead, the focus should be on recovering any important files on the infected hard drive. You can safely access and copy these documents or files from a safe computer. After ensuring that all of the necessary files have been successfully transferred and saved, remove the old hard drive. Place the hard drive back into the computers that had been affected by the hack. Make sure to turn the dip switches back to “master”.
Revive the Hacked Computers
After all of your important files have been recovered, it is time to salvage the hacked computers. Start by clearing all of the affected hard drives by deleting all of their data. Next, reload the computer’s operating system from a reliable source. The goal is to completely remove any remnants of the hack by deleting and removing all saved data and software. Once the operating systems have been loaded, it is time to equip the computer network with security softwares. Anti-spyware, anti-virus and other similar programs are a must to help prevent future hacks.