What is an Incident Response Plan?

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By Bill Minahan   |   September 17, 2020   |   5 Comments

What is an Incident Response Plan?

An incident response plan is a roadmap designed for IT staff to follow in the event of a security incident.

Incident Response Plan

The Sans Institute defines an incident as any violation of policy, law, or unacceptable act that involves information assets such as computers, networks, smartphones, etc.

The purpose of an incident response plan is to provide guidance and experience to an organization presented with a security breach or violation.

Specifically, it’s a tested and documented series of actions and protocols IT staff should follow to help them identify, respond, and recover from a cyber security incident.

Why do you need an Incident Response Plan?

Businesses of all sizes across all industries need an incident response plan. You need an incident response plan because it could protect you from damages like service outages, data loss or theft, and unauthorized breaches to your network, databases, and systems.

According to IBM Security, 77% of businesses admit to not having a formal cyber security response plan.

In the event of a cyber security incident, critical infrastructure can shut down. An effective plan considers an organization’s continuity plan, critical systems, and failovers.

As a result, an organization has a better understanding of the impact an incident will have and can plan accordingly. For instance, a well-developed response plan will factor in how long critical infrastructure can be down before the company starts losing money.

Often, businesses don’t give a response plan the attention it requires until it’s too late. The right time to develop a plan is before a breach, not after.

Incident Response Plan Strategy

According to Forbes, 60% of small businesses that halt operations after a cyber security incident never reopen for business.

Lost revenue due to downtime, cost of remediation, and damage to reputation after a security incident can shut a business down.

However, an effective incident response plan strategy can mitigate damage or avoid it altogether.

Creating a plan from scratch can be daunting. A successful response plan requires taking the rest of your company’s policies into consideration.

It requires testing and updating security controls, communication protocols, and security policies. Furthermore, it requires your organization to identify and quantify your network’s current risks.

How to build an IR Plan

Building an incident response plan can be an overwhelming task. It takes time, effort, knowledge, and coordination, to properly prepare your team to respond to a security incident. However, we can provide some of the knowledge and resources you need to get started.

Our free comprehensive incident response plan eBook provides detailed instructions for the following:

  • Draft an incident response plan
  • How to review an incident response plan
  • How to test an incident response plan
  • Recommendations for handling a real incident

Our eBook was written by Bill Minahan, Founder & CEO of aNetworks, and is based on his experiences with thousands of security incidents. It provides insights, instructions, templates, and recommendations.

IR Plan eBook

Benchmark your cyber security posture

Taking a cyber security assessment can be an effective place to start outlining your response plan as it will lay out the groundwork and infrastructure of your entire network.

Our cyber security assessment is a free 5-10 minute questionnaire that analyzes your entire network and identifies any vulnerabilities. Afterward, your risks are clearly defined. That way, you can be sure your incident response plan covers all the bases.

Take Your Free Cyber Security Assessment

Finally, if you would like to speak to one of our cyber security experts about response plans, then fill out a form or contact us directly 855-459-6600.

Furthermore, if you are looking for more information, then please check out our resource center.

You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.



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