Creating an Effective Incident Response Plan for Cybersecurity

A cybersecurity incident response plan should include a clear chain of command, business continuity measures, and follow-up procedures to correct deficiencies.

Even with multiple levels of security in place, a sophisticated cyberattack can take down a network and business operations.

The average total cost of a data breach is about $4 million, and it can run even higher in some industries. A cyberattack that breaches your network and sensitive data can result in crippling financial damage, including lost business, potential fines for regulatory infractions, and outlays for correcting problems.

Many businesses invest significant resources into technical infrastructure, including strong cybersecurity defenses. Too often, however, organizations fail to give sufficient consideration to incident response — resulting in the need to craft a response plan in the midst of dealing with a large-scale breach of critical networks and data.

What are the benefits of having an incident response plan, and what components does an effective plan include?

Incident Response Planning in Fort Worth

How an Incident Response Plan Can Benefit Your Organization

In the aftermath of a serious cyberattack, your organization — including your employees, clients and vendors — can benefit from having a single point of communication and information. With a centralized contact system in place as part of your incident response plan, your team can focus on important tasks to minimize damage and get your critical operations back up and running.

An effective incident response plan can help you deal with a cyberattack from start to finish, including detecting a potential breach of your networks and data. It also should lay out the steps to take to shut down any further threat, remedy the immediate damage, and ensure continuity of business operations.

Ideally, an incident response plan creates a blueprint for a speedy and orderly response to a cyberattack. The faster your team can respond to the immediate threat, the faster you can return to focusing on serving your clients.

In addition, your incident response plan should detail steps for full recovery as well as applying the knowledge gained to prevent future attacks. By minimizing the damage from an attack and getting back to full operational status quickly, your incident response plan may result in significant cost savings.

Crafting an Effective Incident Response Plan

Your incident response plan should include several basic components: an outline of the chain of command in effect during and after a cyberattack, procedures for immediate response to the threat and continuity of business operations, and follow-up after neutralization of the threat.

Within that framework, you may want to include response options for different types of attacks. Your plan should delineate a clear chain of command, as well as an incident leader who directs the response. It also should list the members of the incident response team and their roles in responding to various types of cyber threats.

Consider including a schedule for practice drills, along with a method for incorporating new feedback and information into the plan. Employees who are not directly involved in IT security or incident response planning should have clear directions for reporting cybersecurity threats and, ideally, should participate in practice sessions.

Automation of defensive strategies — including implementation of robust firewalls and security software — also can increase the effectiveness of your incident response plan.

Since 2005, the caring IT specialists at Corptek Solutions have provided advanced cybersecurity management, business continuity planning and incident response policies to local businesses. With an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and strong technical skills, Corptek offers its clients fast, highly effective support and troubleshooting through HelpDesk60. To find out more, please contact Corptek.