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As we (perhaps uncomfortably?) settle into the “new work from home normal” (or as I like to call it a Modified Disaster Recovery situation), it’s likely a good time to update your Incident Response Playbook as new cybersecurity threats come to light almost daily in the current environment. But first, we must ensure that we understand what incident response is.
What is Incident Response?
The term incident response refers to the operating procedure an organization uses to deal with cyberattack or other breaches in data. The Incident Response process has become a necessity with what seems to be an unavoidable issue as companies move more and more to the digital world. How the incident is managed, who will be involved in the recovery process, and ensuring that any collateral damage is kept to a minimum are all important to include when considering an Incident Response plan.
What is an Incident Response Plan?
Here are a few things a standard Incident Response Plan template would include:
First, a written set of policies and guidelines that are meant to prepare and prevent the incident from happening in the first place.
Next, you’ll need a strategy for how to handle an incident when it does happen. This includes how to prioritize which situations need attention first and who to communicate with, so it can be addressed as soon as possible.
Another crucial element is a process for documentation of incidents. It’s important to have a record of what hasn’t worked in the past, so you can make adjustments for further prevention.
Now that you understand what incident response is, it’s imperative you have an incident response plan in place.
Don’t have an Incident Response Playbook? Start by reviewing this resource NOW:
How Often Should An Incident Response Plan Be Reviewed?
I typically recommend a complete review of your Incident Response Playbook on an annual basis (with a likely scenario tabletop test every quarter). An annual refresh helps account for significant changes such as new staff, upgraded skills, new partners/vendors or technology.
What’s Most Important in the Incident Response Playbook?
The preparation column is among the most important facets of the Incident Response Playbook. Just as an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, you’ll find that the better-prepared you are for the eventual incident, the better you’ll emerge from it.
Incident Response Plan Considerations
Let’s get started with specifics to consider in these unusual times:
Ensure You Have an Incident Response Playbook
The first priority within any incident response plan is to ensure the safety of your staff. The best way to do this is to be prepared for the security challenges moving ahead. I hope that you’ll take this time to review your Incident Response plans and update with the key points I’ve listed above. If you work with an incident response vendor, proactively reach out now to assist you with this before an incident occurs. And visit this dedicated resources webpage to read more about cybersecurity strategies for uncertain times.
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Eldon Sprickerhoff is the original pioneer and inventor of what is now referred to as Managed Detection and Response (MDR). In founding eSentire, he responded to the incipient yet rapidly growing demand for a more proactive approach to preventing and investigating information security breaches. Now with over 20 years of tactical experience, Eldon is acknowledged as a subject matter expert in information security analysis. Eldon holds a Bachelor of Mathematics, Computer Science degree from the University of Waterloo.