ZinnoX Cybersecurity

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Posted on: June 11th 2022

5 Phases of Incident Response Plan

One of our previous blogs spoke in-depth about data breaches, how frequent they occur, the magnitude of the breach, and if it does happen. So, let’s assume the worst; what if, due to unforeseen circumstances,  there’s a sudden data breach in your organisation? In retrospect, the smartest thing to do is have an incident response plan in place. But what does that mean, and who implements these? An incident response plan puts forth a sequence of actions and solutions to be followed in case of security incidents. An incident response team consists of experts assigned to implement the incident response plan. The team generally consists of IT experts who try to limit or contain the incident as quickly as possible. Every organisation needs to have an incident response plan because if you have never had a breach, it’s more likely to happen in the future. It doesn’t matter whether the threat is virtual or physical; losing data and an organisation’s sensitive assets can bring operations to a halt. 

An ideal incident response plan should include the following information:

  1. How the plan can assist the organisation
  2. What would be the organisation’s approach for implementing them
  3. Outlining all the necessary information in all the phases
  4. Key metrics in identifying and capturing the effectiveness of the steps
  5. Stating all the roles and responsibilities for finishing the task

What are the stages involved in Incident Response Plans?

  • Preparation – The first and foremost stage in an incident response plan would require an organisation to prepare for the worst possible scenarios by framing security policies. The plan should be detailed, well-documented and hold all the employees accountable for their respective roles and responsibilities. An ideal plan should include training employees, conducting drills or mocks and getting the plan approved before the incident.
  • Identification/Detection – The second stage primarily focuses on detecting and identifying whether the security incident occurred, its impact and its type. Once it’s been established, the incident team looks at all the affected systems. Few suspicious activities can include unprompted or excessive login attempts, files that you don’t remember downloading, or any malicious or improper use of systems.
  • Containment – This stage solely focuses on containing and halting the incidents or malicious items found in the second stage. It’s primarily focused on controlling the scope or the magnitude instead of protecting and determining the operational capacity of the systems affected. 
  • Investigation – The fourth stage focuses on determining why and how the incident occurred, who did it, and what the log reviews reveal. It is essential to investigate and collect all the above information well-documented as few of the external threats might require law enforcement to be involved. 
  • Eradication – The final stage might sound obvious. This stage involves eradicating or getting rid of the issues on all your systems and networks. This stage is divided into two steps – Cleanup & Notification. Cleanup includes installing antivirus and uninstalling or rebuilding the infected systems, whereas notification involves notifying all the relevant employees in the incident reporting chain. 

Conclusion  

Now that we finished discussing an incident response plan and its various stages are involved, it’s time to think and ask yourself. Does your business have an incident response team or plan set in place? If not, think again. Would you rather risk the organisation’s security system or take proactive measures to contain and have a contingency plan in place? The answer is simple, so don’t waste any more of your time! It’s never too late. Get started on your incident response plan today.

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