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When businesses neglect to create an incident response plan and they are forced into action due to a security incident, they find themselves inadequately prepared and taking the wrong steps.  In this blog post we’ll discuss three simple steps you can take to build an incident response plan that will help your company be prepared for any security incident that may happen. 

Step One: Incident response is a team effort.  

Security professionals must work with company management, IT and other teams to develop an effective incident response plan, through which the security professional will provide guidance on what should be done if an incident happens and how that should be communicated internally. 

Agree on who will take responsibility for various tasks such as preparing notifications or restoring systems after an attack. This includes deciding which resources are available to handle different scenarios, assigning people to specific roles and identifying when it’s appropriate to use outside help like law enforcement agencies or forensics experts from vendors that have done this type of work before. 

In order for any security incident from small scale phishing attacks all the way up through targeted ransomware campaigns to large-scale data breaches, everyone needs to know how to handle these.  This means cybersecurity awareness training for your team. 

Step Two: Identify and organize the different types of incident response plan areas. 

  • Operational – This focuses on day-to-day operations and how an organization will react during a security incident.  It is where you will outline what employees should do during a security incident, such as how to react and who needs to be notified. You can also include any specific measures that need to take place in order for your organization’s IT infrastructure or network structures to stay protected. 
  • Preparatory – This is used to prepare your team and organization for a security incident before it happens. It may also include steps that need to be taken in advance, such as creating a business continuity or disaster recovery strategy, securing data backups, and purchasing cybersecurity insurance coverage.  This is where you share with your team members some of their responsibilities when it comes to preparing for an event before it happens, like practicing emergency procedures or getting cybersecurity training from experts online. 
  • Preventative – This includes all steps that can be taken by an organization to prevent a security incident from taking place. Analyzing current vulnerabilities within your company and addressing them accordingly so they don’t become more serious later on down the line is one of preventive measure items.  Having an anti-virus, patching all software and systems, reviewing third-party tools settings and options, as well as security measures.

Step Three: Outline the steps of your incident response plan. 

It’s important to have this in place to build a cohesive incident response practice across the entire organization. The incident response plan outline gets you to detail how to handle the situation if a security incident response happens and how to respond to the public. 

  • You want to have an incident response mission statement where you explain in detail the need for incident response.   
  • Next, you want to list all roles and responsibilities to know who to turn to and for what when incident response must take place. 
  • Lastly, you write down and describe the situations that fall within the scope of security incidents needing to be declared and the incidents that do on fall under this category.  

With these three steps, every business can establish a simple security incident response plan.  Allowing your business and all members to know how to respond if a security incident takes place.  

Amendments to all areas and steps are made as the incident response plan matures over time.  Plus, there are also more robust incident response plans that you can establish now that you have a cohesive one across the enterprise. 

If you need support with any of these areas and want to meet compliance as well, schedule your free consultation. Here is the link to schedule your call: https://calendly.com/ncxgroup