By Bill Minahan | December 10, 2019 | 0 Comments
An incident response plan is a roadmap designed for IT staff to follow in the event of a security incident.
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.
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.
According to Forbes, 60% of small businesses who 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.
As a result, taking a cyber security assessment is an effective place to start outlining your response plan as it will lay out the groundwork and infrastructure of your entire network.
Specifically, a 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.