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Has Your Business Fallen Behind In Its Incident Response Strategy?

Incident Response plans are proving to be a key element in data breach recovery. That’s why proactive industry leaders are adding and updating these strategies.  

Incident Response Planning

Entrepreneurs and other decision-makers are acutely aware that doing business in the digital age requires robust cybersecurity. Most companies employ standard anti-virus scans, firewalls, and other commonplace measures to protect valuable data. But we are all just as keenly aware that the number of debilitating data breaches suffered continues to uptick despite business leaders’ best efforts.

From 2017 to 2018, the number of exposed records increased from 197 million to more than 446 million, according to reports. Cybercriminals will ultimately continue their efforts to come up with increasingly deceptive ways to penetrate business networks and leverage personal identity files, financial records, and other information that can be ransomed or sold on the dark web. How your organization responds to a breach could have lasting implications about business sustainability. That’s why companies now need an Incident Response plan embedded into their cybersecurity strategy.

What Does An Incident Response Plan Entail?

Proactive business leaders are enlisting the help of cybersecurity experts to create a viable response to an otherwise debilitating breach. These plans are crafted with input from key stakeholders to be ready to identify, contain, mitigate, and make a full recovery from a cyber-attack.

What many industry professionals may not realize — until it’s too late — is that recovery from data and financial loss could be the least of your problems. When employees, shareholders, and other businesses are impacted due to a hack of your network, you could be facing civil litigation. With that goes the industry reputation you worked so hard to develop. To truly recover from a systems hack, industry leaders are pulling together their resources to implement a six-phase Incident Response plan.

How To Develop A 6-Phase Incident Response Plan

It’s imperative that decision-makers understand that a robust Incident Response plan is not a set-it-and-forget-it endeavor. As part of your overarching cybersecurity strategy, it will need to be revisited regularly. That’s mostly because digital bandits are ceaselessly finding innovative ways to penetrate business defenses. Regardless of their criminal activity, a deftly implemented Incident Response plan delivers results. These are the six necessary phases.

  • Preparedness: This phase calls for your valued team members to be trained to manage their clearly outlined responsibilities in the event of a cyber-attack. Common strategies for readiness include running mock breaches and ongoing education.
  • Threat Identification: A hacker can attempt to breach your system in a variety of ways. Targeting endpoint devices and convincing an unsuspecting employee to log in or click on a malicious link is among the most prevalent. Having the ability to identify threats and breach entry points promptly reduces response time.
  • Damage Containment: From the moment a breach or cybersecurity incident occurs, your ability to deter the spread of malicious software or the removal of data ranks among the most crucial ways to control the damage. Hackers may decide to destroy files after their theft to erase digital fingerprints. It’s in your best interest to have methods in place to swiftly regain control.
  • Eliminate Threat: Once you have secured control over your data, eliminating the threat must be decisive. The cause may be malicious software or login and password penetration. Whatever allowed the cybercriminal into your business system, it must be stamped out immediately.
  • Begin Recovery: Once you are satisfied that the threat has been eliminated, the team members tasked with restoring systems and data can do their job. Having an actionable Incident Response plan likely helped save essential data and shortened the time your operation was offline. If you believe other parties could be impacted, notify them promptly.
  • Post-Mortem Analysis: In the aftermath of a cyber-attack, specific team members should be designated to gather information and create a report to share with key stakeholders. There are valuable lessons to be learned that can make your organization better prepared the next time.

Although every business wants to be ready to defend against a cyberthreatThe Third Annual Study on the Cyber Resilient Organization indicates that upwards of 77 percent do not have a clearly articulated Incident Response plan in place. If your organization has not implemented an Incident Response strategy, we would like input about enhancing an existing one. It may be in your best interest to enlist a third-party cybersecurity consultant.