The security landscape is constantly evolving and that means a professional security posture needs to keep eyes and ears open for new defenses to fight off emerging threats. However, even the best cybersecurity tools and firms can’t guarantee 100% protection (nobody can).
Incident response(IR) is critical to ensure the safety and security of any business - no matter how large or small. Having an incident response plan established within a business will ensure an organized approach to addressing the aftermath of a cybersecurity incident or breach. In these moments, time is critical, and reputations can be harmed in a matter of seconds.
C3 Project Manager, Brain Haugen, recently explained the importance of IR Plans, “Reputation of a business takes years to build and within a matter of minutes (if not seconds) a cyber security incident can completely crumble that reputation. That is why incident response should be viewed as a critical need and the foundation of every business.”
The goal for incident response for every organization boils down to handling critical situations in a way that limits damage and reduces recovery time and cost. IR planning ensures that well before an incident takes place, the steps to respond have already been identified, and responsibilities are clearly defined across your org.
Although this isn’t an end-all be-all list or everything you could want in an IR plan, these are steps that the C3 Technology Advisors’ team recommends every organization have at a minimum.
- Preparation is considered the most crucial step to protect your business.
This step includes training employees on how they should respond to an incident and preparing them for their responsibilities in the aftermath of an incident. Preparation can even include cybersecurity maintenance such as regular password changes, use of a professional password manager, professional employee cybersecurity training and more.
The response plan needs to be well documented, with thorough explanation of key roles and responsibilities. The more prepared your team is, the less likely they are to make mistakes when swift execution is critical.
- Identification is focused on identifying the who, what, when, where, and how of an incident. Some key questions to answer include:
- When did the event happen?
- How was it discovered?
- Who discovered it?
- Does it affect operations?
- What is the scope of the compromise
- Containment in the event of a cybersecurity attack or a data compromise, the containment phase in an IR Plan focuses on containing and minimizing the impact to your organization and even your client base.
Containment can be looked at as the ‘response’ phase. The incident response team involved in containment of the cyber security incident must contain breaches. Without containment or response to a breach the cyber security incident could cause further damage to the business.
Having a short-term and long-term containment strategy ready can help your business recover faster.
- Eradicating the root cause after the issue and damage have been contained is the next step. Cybersecurity threats need to be securely removed—if there is any trace of malware or security issue remaining in your system, you may still be losing valuable data and your liability could increase.
- Recovery can only begin when the malicious software has been fully removed by restoring and returning affected systems and devices back into your business environment.
This step is critical because it tests, monitors and verifies the affected systems. Without proper recovery, it would be difficult to avoid similar incidents in the future.
- Lessons learned will need to be discussed, once everything is complete. Meet with your team and discuss what you have learned from the data breach. By figuring out what worked and what did not work in your response can help your systems strengthen against future attacks.
This is perhaps the most crucial step because without it, you don’t adapt/change your solutions/people/process to keep the same thing from happening again.
Businesses being hit by a data breach is more common than you might think. However, by preparing for a potential breach and knowing what to do when it happens, it can help lessen the impact it creates.
Looking to review how organizations can handle business continuity, disaster recovery and IR planning?
Here at C3 Technology Advisors, the team helps organizations understand how to better prepare for the unthinkable.
Our team of engineers, consultants, and project managers helps organizations defend against potential cybersecurity threats while also preparing them with professional IR Plans to help speed up the response & recovery process.
Looking at the key elements of incident response plans (IRPs), the team here at C3 Technology Advisors can guide your organization through the following: preparation, identification, containment, eradication, recovery, and lessons learned.