The Importance of an Incident Response Plan


The diversity of cyber-attacks keeps growing and getting more complicated to deal with, and their impacts are increasingly disruptive and damaging. To deal with these changes and maintain the system’s security, businesses must be prepared and establish a strong incident response plan.

Being prepared to face an attack is the key to quickly identify and respond to them. Having a well-structured base to begin the incident response operation ensures minimal damage to the attacked entity, and a strong security system with low costs.

Incident response preparation: minimal risk and better intervention

A strong incident response plan is usually comprised of 6 steps: preparation, identification, containment, eradication, recovery, and lessons learned.

As the steps followed by the IT teams facing a cyber-attack are clear and structured, the preparation phase is the element defining the operation’s efficiency and the business damage rate.

Preparation of the incident response: the checklist

Preparation lays the foundation for a future incident response process. During this phase, it is recommended that a risk-based approach to cybersecurity is adopted, ensuring :

  • That the technological and business environment of your business is understood
  • That the IT resources and their capability to face a cyber-attack is estimated
  • That threats are Identified and tracked
  • That the risks to your business are documented
  • That you get in touch with the IT team, ensure the role and responsibilities of every member
  • That sensitive data related to your business is stored and localized
  • That technologies and equipment needed before, during, and after a potential incident response process are identified
  • That a SOC (Security Operation Center) is established to monitor the security of information systems by checking the exchanged emails and actions to detect any suspicious activity that might put the system at risk
  • That the backup of the current system is kept up to date so that the most recent data can be found in case of a faulty system.

Putting together all the information related to the system, the roles of the members of the IT team responsible for them, and measuring the cyber technologies available, will enable the intervening incident response team to the focus of the problem.

Updating data with every new malware or intrusion mentioned in the incident response report leads to faster detection of the known attacks and an optimized process.

This checklist gathers the focal points that help you structure the most efficient cyber incident response process to help you solve the problem as efficiently as possible.

Importance of preparing an incident response process

The Hacknowledge CSIRT – Incident Response Team provides our clients with the support needed to ensure a secured system and minimize the risk of a cyber-attack. In order to make our intervention more effective and get systems back on track quickly, clients must ensure that the preparation phase of the incident response is in place beforehand.

What if there’s no incident response preparation?

Passing over incident preparation means taking risks that may lead to a complete loss of the system data (including sensitive and confidential content, intellectual property) and a long period of breakdown that will affect the business’ reputation. As a result, this loss is likely to have a negative financial impact on the business and lead to a lack of trust in the company from clients.  

Although the CSIRT teams will take the necessary steps to secure the cyber-attacked system, the incident response process will take a longer time, the damage may be more serious, and there will be a greater risk of it affecting the system’s efficiency. The loss of all backups and focal information may cause a period of crisis and inactivity to the business, which it can avoid by preparing the field for the incident response.

What if the incident response preparation is well done?

By carrying out incident preparation, the cyber-attacked business will guarantee the data system recovery and therefore a much faster resumption of the activity. As the processes will already be in place, the Hacknowledge CSIRT – Incident Response team will be prepared to take immediate action, by detecting and eliminating the intrusions and malware, and system recovery will be ensured by the planned offline back-ups.

The preparation phase of the incident response process defines the efficiency of the operation: a well-prepared business has high chances of getting through the cyber-attack with the least damage possible, with all data retrieved and the quick resumption of activity.

Conclusion

The risk of a cyber-attack is a real concern for every business dealing with large amounts of data and confidential information. For smaller businesses, having a system breakdown and losing data is a frightening prospect and is likely to have fatal consequences for the company. 

The incident response process is the solution followed by CSIRT teams when facing a cyber-attack, which consists of identifying the intrusion, eliminating it, and adding it to the known breaks of the system. But the most important part of the response is its preparation phase.

The preparation step includes a collaboration between the business and the CSIRT teams to back up the maximum data and secure confidential information. The preparation teams must also ensure the processes and logs saving, mastering the system’s infrastructure and strengthening the security system. The internal and external communication is also an important key which reinforces the system’s barriers. Being prepared for a cyber-attack helps to get the problem resolved quickly and efficiently, with the minimum damage possible.

Need help building a simplified cyber security threat detection and response system?  Get in touch with the Hacknowledge team to discuss it!

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