Critical Elements of an Incident Response Plan

Critical Elements of an Incident Response Plan

The incident response plan is an organized approach to manage and address the aftermath of a cyber incident. The main objective of developing the incident response plan is to minimize the damages done to the data & IT infrastructure. Data breaches & security incidents will strike your business regardless of the size of your enterprise or the industry you operate in. Being prepared is a must. Surprisingly, 77% of the organizations do not have a consistent incident response plan.

“It can take 20 years to build a reputation and a few minutes of a cyber incident can ruin it.”

Cyber incidents are defined as a breach of a system’s security policy in order to affect its integrity or availability and the unauthorised access or attempted access to systems, networks & servers. In this hyper-connected world of technology, a click or a cyber-attack can cause a lot of devastation which cannot be undone. These cyber incidents cause loss of reputation, money & data of the affected companies. 

Cyber Crimes are constantly evolving. We have witnessed an increase in cyber-attacks and the number of new techniques hackers have deployed for these incidents. Therefore, a consistent incident response plan should be deployed.

Only 14% SMBs are able to mitigate their risks when they are under attack. Credits- Ponemon Institute.

When an incident strikes the infrastructure of an organization, it needs to respond to the damage done. A consistent incident response plan helps in reducing losses, restoring the processes and services, and mitigate the exploited vulnerabilities. Incident response plans are supposed to be the first line of defence against the cyber attacks. If planned consistently, it can help in establishing a set of best practices for the prevention of breaches even before they strike.

Incident response plans only work, when they are designed & implemented carefully. Any loopholes can make the damages worse and can result in more loss. To ensure the effectiveness of the plan, it should include the following critical elements:

  • Detailed & Flexible: Security incidents might never follow the same patterns, attackers are constantly deploying new techniques and methods to impose damages on digital assets. An efficient incident response plan needs to be detailed so that it defines every node and its respective duties when a security incident strikes. This helps in avoiding the confusion and reckless actions that can sometimes lead to more damage.  Flexibility, on the other hand, helps in an easy modulation of the incident response plan. Security incidents can be classified into several types, to deal with the aftermath of any type of attack in an efficient way, it should be flexible.
  • Clear Communication: We often fail to focus on several aspects of an incident response plan and one of them is communication. Informal incident response plans lack the understanding of communicating networks. Post-incident communications should be taken into consideration and should follow a procedure in order to keep them secure. Also, external communication policies should also be included that deal with alerts to the users, relevant regulatory bodies, and investors of the cybersecurity incident. Communications that are clear, immediate, and consistent always offer a reliable experience to its users and other associated. 
  • Inclusivity of the Stakeholders: When a security incident strikes, an organization is supposed to stand-together and fix it. This also includes the stakeholders, who play an important part when it comes to representing the organization. An effective incident response plan should define the kind of environment, and what it’s trying to protect, and who is on its team. This helps in developing a clear understanding of the roles & responsibilities of every member involved. A concise list plays a crucial role and ensures that every member is actively working towards minimizing the damage.
  • Consistency – Almost all organizations claim to have an incident response plan in place. But, a huge number of organizations are still affected by the cyber-attacks. How? This happens because organizations rarely test it and modify it in accordance with the changing scenario. This is a common mistake because nobody is aware of its effectiveness unless it is tested. When the incident strikes, if the incident response plan is not up-to-date or consistent, the loopholes will inflict more damage along with the damage caused by the cyber-attack.

Incident Response plan remains a challenge for most of the organizations throughout the industry. They are often created for the namesake but do not work out, when the incident strikes. Ensure that your Incident Response plan comprises of the points stated. Bulwark CyberX is known to provide the best assistance for Cyber Security and services. Security is supposed to be hassle-free, so here we are.

Contact us or visit Bulwark CyberX and defend yourself in the era of Cyber Warfare.