What is an Incident Response Plan?

What is an Incident Response Plan?

An incident response plan is a set of instructions that will help your IT staff detect, respond to, and recover from cyber attacks and other security threats. Having a plan ensures that the right personnel and procedures are in place to effectively respond to such threats.

Why You Need an Incident Response Plan

When it comes to a cyber attackyou shouldn’t ask if.” You should ask when.” 

Every organization is at risk of suffering a security breach, and the consequences can be devastating. 

Luckily, an incident response plan can help you anticipate these risks.

How to Implement Your Plan

  1. First, determine the critical components within your network. Record the locations of your most crucial data and systems. Make sure these critical components are backed up in a secondary location so you can recover them quickly in an emergency. 
  2. Next, identify and address any single points of failure. You should have a plan B for every critical component within your infrastructure, including hardware, software, and employee responsibilities. Having backups and fail-safes in place will reduce overall damage and disruption to your network and business processes. 
  3. Once you’ve identified your most critical systems, designate an emergency response team. Your team will include your IT department, employees who have system admin credentials, and decision makers who understand the impact of each system and its unavailability. 
  4. Record your incident response plan. Keep the plan in a location where it can easily be accessed and reviewed by your emergency response team.
  5. Train your staff on preventing and responding to cyber threats. Every member of your organization should understand the importance of following appropriate security procedures. And training your employees on these concepts will minimize the chances of a significant breach. 

What Your Plan Should Include

Your incident response plan should include the following: 
  • A list of the names, contact information, and responsibilities for each member of your incident response team 
  • A summary of your company’s tools, technologies, and physical resources 
  • A list of critical network and data recovery processes 
  • An incident triage matrix, which will help your team prioritize incidents quickly and correctly 
  • Procedures for reporting and responding to a suspected incident

How Often to Update Your Incident Response Plan

You should review and update your plan on a regular basis, as determined by your leadership team. Whether this evaluation happens quarterly, semiannually, or annually, make sure a policy review is built into your corporate calendar. 

In addition to a scheduled evaluation, you should review your incident response plan following any major event in your organization, such as a new system or policy or in response to cyber attack.

Final Thoughts

No business is immune to cyber attacks, but an incident response plan can help you stay prepared and minimize your losses. 

Check out this article to learn more about cybersecurity and its role within your organization. 

You can also develop your very own incident response plan with the help of our cybersecurity experts. Schedule a free consultation today and get your security back on track.

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