Incidents Happen: A Five-Step Guide To Creating Your Cybersecurity Incident Response

Breaches in cybersecurity happen. It’s always best to be prepared when it comes to the possibility of hackers, data breaches, or malicious code. OSTechnical connects you with the creme de la creme of IT professionals who can build in-depth Cybersecurity Incident Response Plans (IRPs) that will protect you against a myriad of security breaches. In the meantime, you can begin the process of building your own IRP by following these five steps.

1. Preparation: Practice Means Protection

Always be prepared for anything. That means educating employees on cybersecurity protocols. Conduct drills and training to cut down on response time. You’ll always be ahead of the game when you implement the following:

  • Define and Document Policies: First things first, clearly define your company’s incident response policies and procedures. What roles do team members take on during a breach? What are their responsibilities? Nail down communication plans and escalation procedures.
  • Training and Awareness: Ensure that your employees are knowledgeable about your specific Incident Response Plan. Make sure your people are trained on their roles and responsibilities.  Conducting drills and training exercises are great ways to keep everyone primed and ready to go when it comes to possible cybersecurity issues.
  • Incident Response Team (IRT): Assemble and train a dedicated incident response team with members from various departments, including IT, legal, communications, and management.

2. Identification: Keep Your Eyes Peeled

This is where you establish whether or not you have been breached. Breaches can come from anywhere. Luckily you and your team have been preparing for this moment and are ready to do the following:

  • Anomaly Detection: Enabling a successful incident response plan means you give your IRT access to monitoring tools to detect unusual activities across your networks and systems. They will be able to track risks and assess if you’re experiencing a simple breach or an event that can cause serious damage.
  • Incident Reporting: Create clear and concise channels for reporting incidents. Encourage employees to report any suspicious activities promptly.
  • Classify Incidents: Categorize incidents by severity and their potential to harm your organization.

3. Containment: Put A Lid On It

Do not impulsively delete everything the moment you note a security breach. You will need the evidence to track where the incident happened and how to protect against the same thing happening in the future. Instead, contain the breach by:

  • Isolating Affected Systems: Disconnect from affected networks so viruses don’t spread and further impact your business.
  • Implement Controls: Deploy additional security controls, such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, or temporary patches, to limit the incident’s impact.
  • Collect Evidence: Preserve evidence. Once again, don’t rush to hit the red button and get rid of everything. You want to understand the scope and nature of this incident to avoid a repeat incident.

4. Eradication: Hit The Road Hackers

Once you identify and contain your breach it’s time to find the root cause. All malware should be disposed of, any holes should be patched up, and updates should be done across the board. If there is any malware or security issues left behind you leave the door open to hackers and could be losing even more data. Did I mention that you also put yourself at risk of being made liable for the breach if you don’t pull out the malicious software at its root? 

Don’t forget to take these steps:

  1. Remove Malicious Codes: Identify and remove any malicious code or elements from affected systems that were compromised.
  2. Patch Vulnerabilities: Patch any vulnerable spaces or take corrective actions to avoid the same incident in the future.
  3. Review Security Posture: Review the strength of your cybersecurity and how your Incident Response Plan can better predict, prevent, and respond to breaches going forward.

5. Recovery: Get Your Groove Back

Crisis averted, good thing you’ve got this awesome IRP in place! Now it’s time to restore your systems and get your business balanced and back on track without worrying about the same breach occurring again.

Recovery looks like:

  • Restore Systems: Bring affected systems back online slowly and securely after triple-checking that they are free from any vulnerabilities.
  • Data Restoration: Restore all data that was backed up to return to business as usual.
  • Review and Update: As a team conduct a thorough report of the incident and the response process. It’s important to discuss lessons learned and to update your plan accordingly.

Data breaches are never fun but with a thorough Incident Report Plan in place you will be prepared to sail through any issues that may arise. Remember to stay ready, identify any issues, contain them on sight, eradicate breaches from the source, and then recover and get back to business. 

Working with an OSTechnical IT professional will ensure that there will be no loose ends left behind and that your IRP is watertight. Oh, and our people supply breakfast on their first day. Does it get any better than that? We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Do You Want To Boost Your Business?

drop us a line and keep in touch