BlogFeaturedManaged IT ServicesHow You Can Develop an Incident Response Plan

November 11, 2021by Hector Morales0

How You Can Develop an Incident Response Plan

 

A business IT security incident can topple an organization’s reputation and revenue in a short amount of time. As billionaire Warren Buffet once said, “it takes 20 years to develop a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Keeping that in mind, it’s ideal to have an incident response plan in place before a security breach occurs. 

An IT incident response plan is much like any other disaster response plan. It is a set of instructions intended to facilitate a process for detecting, responding to, and recovering from network security incidents such as cybercrime, data loss, and service disruptions.

Having a plan in place contributes to the development of a strong cybersecurity stance as well as overall organizational resilience. This is one of the primary functions of a top-notch IT service provider.

Since many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) operate without business IT support and have limited resources and funds, incident response is usually given less attention than it deserves.

However, failing to respond swiftly and effectively when a cyberattack occurs can easily cost far more in lost operation time and potential ransom demands than instituting an incident response plan in the first place.

The recent shift for many businesses from an in-office workforce to a fully remote hybrid workforce has changed the landscape of business IT services and IT security.

While this has changed many details of what is needed for operations, many of the essentials of preparedness and incident response remain unchanged.

 

Essential Elements of an Incident Response Plan

 

Every IT security incident response plan should include the following five key elements in order to successfully address the wide range of security issues that an organization can face:

 

  1. Detection and Analysis

These are, without a doubt, two of the most crucial elements of an incident response plan.

They emphasize documenting the entire process from how an incident is detected to how to report, analyze, and contain the threat.

The aim is to create a playbook that includes approaches for detecting and analyzing a wide range of risks.

 

  1. Incident Identification and Rapid Response

It’s critical to evaluate the threat effectively and decide whether to implement the incident response plan.

This requires two prerequisites:

  • An authorized person to initiate the plan
  • An online/offline place for the incident response team to meet and discuss

The sooner the IT security incident is detected and addressed, the less severe, costly, and time consuming the impact.

 

  1. Resources

In the case of a cyber event, an incident response team will usually have emergency kits on hand and have the following resources to help successfully navigate through the event:

  • Tools to take all machines offline after forensic analysis
  • Solutions to regulate access to the organization’s IT environment and keep hackers out of the network
  • Measures to employ standby machines to ensure operational continuity

 

  1. Roles and Responsibilities

An incident could occur in the middle of the night or at any other unexpected time. That’s why it’s critical to establish the roles and responsibilities of your incident response team members.

They could be called in at any time. You would ideally also have a reserve team in case any of the primary contacts are unavailable.

Time is critical in the event of a cyber incident and everyone must know what to do.

 

  1. Containment, Eradication and Recovery

  • Containment: specifies the methods for restricting the incident’s scope. A ransomware attack, for example, must be tackled very differently compared to an insider threat.
  • Eradication: is all about techniques to eliminate a threat from all affected systems.
  • Recovery: because incidents cannot always be prevented, recovery efforts concentrate on reducing potential harm and resuming operations as quickly as possible.

 

Considerations for an Incident Response Plan

 

An IT security response plan must address any concerns that arise from an evolving threat landscape. There are several considerations to be made before you start crafting your plan, including:

  • Building an incident response plan should not be a one-off exercise. It should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it considers the most recent technical and environmental changes that may influence your organization.
  • Your incident response plan and the team working on it must be supported and guided by top management.
  • It’s critical to document and distribute the contact information of the response team to each other and any other key personnel for emergency communication.
  • Every person in the incident response team must maintain accountability.
  • Deploy the appropriate tools and procedures to improve the effectiveness of your incident response.
  • Your security, backup, and compliance postures must all be given the same attention.

We live in an era of changing business landscapes and hybrid workspaces where only resilient organizations and IT MSP services can navigate through all the complexities created by technological advancements and other unexpected internal and external influences.

That’s why having an incident response plan for your business is essential.

Unfortunately, the evolving digital world and the threats it contains has made more specialized and coordinated small business IT services necessary beyond the scope of what most SMBs are able to perform in-house effectively and efficiently.

Trying to develop and deploy an IT security and incident response plan on your own might be more than you can handle while running an organization.

If that is the case, partnering with a hybrid IT workspace and small business IT specialist like Sequentur can take the load off your shoulders and give you the advantage of having our friendly and knowledgeable staff on your side.

Whether you need emergency response or just fast, efficient IT support from a professional hybrid IT provider, contact us today to schedule a no-obligation consultation, or just give us a call and get started.

Tampa Bay: (813) 489-4122 | Washington DC: (703) 260-1119

Nashville: (629) 895-4969 | Philadelphia: (215) 987-5199 | Atlanta: (404) 445-8415

 

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