Creating a Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan

Cybersecurity incidents are a part of everyday life for businesses right now. Hackers are deploying ever changing technology to steal valuable data from businesses and in order for the business to combat these threats, they must have a strong cybersecurity incident response plan in place. Creating this plan might be a little overwhelming at first but our article this week is going to focus on creating a cybersecurity incident response plan.

Creating a Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan

What is a cybersecurity incident response plan?

A cybersecurity incident response plan (CSIRP) is a written plan that will help a business navigate the impact of a cyber-attack. Cyber-attacks seem to change rapidly and therefore, the strategies to mitigate the damage from them must change rapidly too. A CSIRP can also prevent the same type of cyber-attack from occurring again. When creating your CSIRP, it must be tailored to the types of cyber risks that your business faces. All cyber security incident response plans should include the following five things.

1. Preparation: Select the employees and external vendors that will be in charge of handling incidents. Anyone who is selected for the role of handling cybersecurity incidents must have the knowledge to do so. The responsibilities that go along with this role must always be clearly defined. This will lessen the chance of errors that may lead to the breach doing more damage.

2. Detection: Being able to detect potential cyber-attacks can help mitigate the damage that they do or avoid them all together. Proper detection can also differentiate between minor and major events. This helps with appropriating the proper escalation response.

3. Containment: This step involves isolating the infected system and determining the cause of the breach.

4. Recovery: This is one of the most important parts of a cybersecurity incident response plan and there are many parts of it. The biggest part of recovery is eradicating the cause of the infection. After that has been figured out, other mitigation steps must be done such as blocking malicious IP addresses, changing passwords, patching, and fixing vulnerabilities. The business must also make sure that it still complies with regulatory requirements and appropriately protects its reputation.

5. Post Incident Review: A thorough discussion should take place on taking action to identify the gaps in the company’s security. You should also discuss ways to avoid similar incidents in the future.

Why is a cybersecurity incident response plan important?

One of the most important reasons why you should have a CSIRP in place is that 80% of customers would take their business elsewhere if they were affected by the company’s data breach. You can also lose the trust of investors and shareholders. However, there are several additional benefits of implementing a cybersecurity incident response plan.

Cost reduction is one of them. According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach is $4.35 million. Having the incident response plan in place can significantly reduce the cost of the attack by limiting the damage. Incident response plans can also assist in the protection of data. The plans usually ensure identity access management, backups, and timely patching of vulnerabilities.

Creating a Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan

Step 1: Identify and prioritize your company’s assets. – Identify and document where your business keeps its most crucial data. This will help you in assessing what would cause the most significant losses if the data was stolen.

Step 2: Identify potential risks to your organization. – Determine what risks are the most significant risks to your company’s infrastructure. These risks will be different for every organization. For example, businesses that allow their customers usage of WiFi should focus on securing their internet access. For businesses that process data online, improper coding would be the biggest risk.

Step 3: Establish procedures for security. – There should always be an established procedure to follow as panicked or untrained employees may make mistakes that could damage your company. The policies for data breaches should include the following.
• How to identify and contain a breach
• How to record information about the breach
• A communication plan
• The approach to defense
• Employee training

As time passes, you may have to adjust the policies you have written in accordance with the needs of the company. Keep in mind that certain businesses may require more emphasis on parts of the plan. Before writing the policies, find out the compliance regulations of your specific industry.

Step 4: Set up an incident response team. – This step involves selecting a group of employees to coordinate action after a breach has been discovered. The goal of this team should be to minimize the impact of the breach and restore normal operations as soon as possible. The employees should each know their specific responsibilities to manage the crisis. The most necessary roles that will need to be filled within the response team are as follows:

• Team leader
• Investigator
• Public relation coordinator
• IT director
• Communications leader
• C-suite representative
• Legal representative

Each of these team members will help bring a unique perspective to the problem and provide a thorough way to keep the problem from occurring again.

Step 5: Get your cybersecurity incident response plan approved. – If you’re not getting the proper support and resources for your plan, it will be completely ineffective. Your plan should start with upper management; they must understand the significance of cyber threats. It doesn’t matter if your company is a small mom and pop shop or a large corporation, the plan must be pushed from upper management to everyone else. When selling your plan, be sure to highlight how a CSIRP will benefit the business. Upper management will likely listen when the subject of what can happen to a company’s reputation in a breach is explained. You will also want to explain the financial setbacks of cyber-attacks.

Step 6: Train your staff on your cybersecurity incident response plan. – Before the plan is implemented, employees should always be trained on what they should do in the event of a data breach. Company security starts with employees and they should be trained on how to identify such attacks as phishing emails, spear phishing attacks, and social engineering attacks. After employees are trained and tested, you can identify and patch weaknesses in the incident response plan.

If you are having difficulty creating your cybersecurity incident response plan, please reach out to Tekscape.

About Tekscape

Tekscape is committed to providing proactive, responsive, and timely managed IT services support for our clients. We start with our comprehensive new client onboarding process designed to get your business up-and-running on our monitoring and management tools with as little disruption as possible. For over 15 years, we’ve successfully onboarded simple and complex IT infrastructure supporting multiple users including:

• Servers and Systems
Collaboration (Phone, Video)
• Desktop, Email and Endpoints
• Microsoft Office 365 & Azure
• Security & Disaster Recovery

As your trusted partner, Tekscape becomes your go-to-guide for technology best practices aligned with your industry and your unique business goals. Our technology solutions can help reduce operational costs, eliminate downtime and decrease overall IT spend.

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