It’s getting more and more likely that your business — no matter the industry or size — will experience a cyber attack. You must never be caught flat-footed because the consequences are just too great — from impacting your IT systems to disabling your entire organization. Cyberattacks can affect your human resources, vendor management, internal communication, and almost all other aspects of your business.
That is why it is imperative that your organization create, build and regularly test your incident response policies to make certain your operational systems and hard earned reputation stay intact. Establishing procedures and processes based on best practices helps to ensure an effective, timely, effective, and orderly response to a security incident.
What does an incident response policy look like?
In the simplest of terms, an incident response policy:
- Documents mobilization procedures and scenarios for your entire cyber security team
- Details each of your computer security incident response team members’ responsibilities
- Creates a systematic and well thought out strategy so no decisions are made in the heat of battle
- Preventative measures are based on relevant factors such as the critical business systems that may be impacted, or the potential for a data breach
- Prepares your legal counsel, cyber insurance provider, and public relations (PR) team to handle all communication and messaging
- Establishes a rapid recovery system to ensure business continuity
Four Incident Response Plan Recommendations
Test, Test, Test!
Is there a better way to assure that your cyber security is effective, than by actually putting your plan to the test? ‘Practice makes perfect’ is an adage to be taken seriously when dealing with your business’s welfare. The best organizations are proactive and do not leave anything to chance.
Be Detailed, Scalable, and Flexible
Your incident response plan must be constructed with great detail — nothing is too small to address — but it must also be flexible so it can be applied to a myriad of incidents and attacks.
A superior incident response plan provides enough lateral movement for a wide range of incidents.
Clear Communication is Essential
Clear communication is essential for incident response. Your plan must be formal and secure so your team has a solid understanding of how to communicate with each other. Your post-incident communication must be separated from your operational network so it never gets compromised.
Be Inclusive When it Comes to Stakeholders
Make a detailed list of all your stakeholders and how each person should be involved. Be sure to also include external partners who can help in a time of crisis. Specifically, an incident response plan must include how to involve your legal department as early in the process as possible. Your legal affairs department will advise your team if it is necessary to involve law enforcement.
With the right cybersecurity solutions in place you can minimize the chance that a cyber attack incident will impact your organization. Even so, it’s important to be prepared for any eventuality. A response plan will take much of the pain out of the worst-case “damage control” scenarios, so be sure to have yours ready!