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Why does your business need an incident response plan?

In the aftermath of digital disasters, businesses need to act fast. A cyber attack or data breach could cost your business dearly – in reputation as well as money. Even if you have cyber security measures in place, there’s no guarantee that you won’t be targeted by hackers or third parties with malicious intentions. An incident response plan will help your business get back on its feet if and when disaster strikes. Read on to learn more about why your business needs an incident response plan.

What is an incident response plan?

An incident response plan, also known as an IR plan, is a strategic document that outlines your business’ approach to handling incidents. This includes the types of incidents that might happen, how they will be detected, who will be responsible for responding, and how they’ll respond.

An IR plan should also include details on how each incident will be contained, how data will be protected or restored, and how communication will be handled. It should also cover who will be notified and what the response team’s disaster recovery steps will be once a security event has been handled .

Why does your business need an IR Plan?

An incident response plan will help your business respond to cyber attacks, data breaches, and other incidents in a timely, professional, and effective manner.

Here’s what your IR plan will help you do:

  • Reduce the risk of a cyber attack: A cyber security incident response plan will help you detect and respond to threats quickly, reducing the risk of an attack on critical business assets.
  • Limit the damage of a cyber attack: An incident response plan will help you contain the damage caused by a cyber-attack as quickly as possible. Remember that cyber attackers can stay in your system for months at a time before security breaches are found.
  • Minimise the cost of a cyber attack: A quick and effective response to a cyber attack will ensure that business operations are back up and running quickly. This will help you minimise the cost of an attack.
  • Maintain your customers’ trust: Your customers will appreciate knowing that your business has a plan of action in place should a cyber attack occur. Having an IR plan in place will help you maintain your customers’ trust.

Reports show that cyber-attack victims are being targeted by more than one adversary, sometimes simultaneously but usually in rapid succession. The adage ‘it’s not if but when you’re attacked’ is being expanded with ‘and how often’. Multiple attacks on one victim are nothing new, but historically the timeline has been months, even years between attacks. Now it is weeks, days, and even hours. More robust incident response procedures are necessary to take in this new threat landscape.

Who should be involved in creating an IR Plan?

Your incident response plan should be created and overseen by an Incident Response Team. The IR team should include representatives from your IT, HR, Legal, Marketing, and Communications departments. You should also take into consideration any third parties that your business regularly works with, such as vendors, suppliers, or partners. This will help you ensure that your partners have an incident response plan in place as well.

What should be included in your IR Plan?

As we’ve already discussed, an incident response plan should include details on how your business will respond to various incidents. You’ll want to make sure that your plan includes responses for the following types of incidents:

  • Cyber attack: A cyber attack is when a third party tries to gain access to your network, systems, or data. A cyber attack could be an attempt to steal your data, disrupt your systems, or gain control of your systems.
  • Data breach: A data breach occurs when a third party gains unauthorised access to your data. This could be a result of a malicious cyber attack, or it could happen due to human error, such as a misconfigured data transfer.
  • Service disruption: A service disruption could be due to a natural disaster, a man-made disaster, or due to some other external factor. A service disruption could also be a result of an internal issue, such as a power outage at the office.
  • Legal action: A legal action could be a lawsuit, law enforcement investigation, or government investigation.

3 steps to creating your IR Plan

Your incident response plan should be created in collaboration with your entire IR team. It’s important to get everyone involved as early as possible to ensure that the plan reflects the company’s culture and processes, and it accurately reflects the risks your company faces.

The following are the key steps to creating your IR Plan:

Analyse

Your IR team should analyse your current incident response plan, and identify any potential weak spots. This will allow you to correct any issues before you move on to creating your incident response plan.

Assess

It’s not enough to know what you’re currently doing – you also need to know what you could be doing better. Your IR team should assess the threat landscape to your business, and identify potential threats.

Develop

Once you’ve analysed your current state of affairs, assessed the threats to your business, and corrected any issues with your current incident response plan, your IR team can create the new IR plan. This will be your go-to guide for responding to all incidents.

Managed incident response with security experts

As the cyber threats facing organisations increase in volume and complexity, the need for effective incident response processes is greater than ever. A proactive cybersecurity plan helps to create awareness within your business to rapidly identify and react to cyber threats and attacks. INTELLIWORX is a leading managed security service provider with a team of experts trained in incident response and the knowledge to deal with the latest cybersecurity threats.

Shane Maher

We passionately work on the IT Infrastructure of mid-tier businesses and support MSPs into cloud services. I have over 17 years of commercial experience that includes supporting and managing IT systems, developing infrastructure solutions, both onsite & in the cloud.

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