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With these seven critical Incident Response Practices, you can ensure that your employees are adequately equipped to deal with cybersecurity attacks.

An organization’s practices and policies in reaction to a cyber incident, such as an attack or data breach, are referred to as incident response. The goal of Incident Response is to reduce the harm caused by an attack, i.e., the recovery time, effort, expenditures, and reputational damage connected with a cyber-attack or data breach.

Aside from minimizing the many impacts of a cyber attack, the Incident Response process can assist organizations in preventing future attacks that risk their information security.

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In previous blogs, we discussed what incident response is and how to create successful incident response templates and frameworks. The following are five significant examples of best practices that firms may use to get the most out of Incident Response procedures.

1) Start your Incident Response Practices with a strategy and checklist.

Making a plan is one of the best methods to handle Incident Response. Developing a comprehensive plan can assist firms in outlining specific protocols for their workers to follow when it comes to recognizing, regulating, and mitigating security events. First, however, you need to begin your plan by creating a strategy and a checklist. Strong IR plans include roles and responsibilities standards, communication plans, and defined response methods. These aspects contribute to establishing a defined method for responding to cyber disasters, thereby decreasing their adverse effects, such as downtime, financial repercussions, and reputational harm.

Regarding the checklist, there are five critical areas to plan around: Identification, Containment, Eradication, Recovery, and Lessons Learned.

2) Form an incident response team.

A cyber security issue affects the entire company, not just your computers and IT infrastructure. That is why, while dealing with the attack’s aftermath, you must include at least one devoted person from each area you identify as critical.

Of course, you should begin with your IT Security department, assign staff to find the source of the attack and contain it, and advise other employees on what steps to take. Identify a person in charge of contacting your vendors and your outsourced security organization if you do not have an internal cyber security team.

3) Make a game plan for frequent security occurrences.

Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and ingenious, not only in terms of number but also sophistication and ingenuity. As a result, cyberattacks can be severely destructive to the operations and well-being of a company. To mitigate the effect of common types of security incidents, businesses should establish a playbook for specific cyber risks and how to mitigate them as part of their Incident Response management. This allows staff access to educational materials that will better prepare them for future security crises, lowering their negative impact on day-to-day operations.

4) Create a communication procedure.

Employees are critical in defending firms against cyber attacks. However, many organizations that suffer cyber attacks fail to disclose the presence of a bad actor to key stakeholders such as their employees. Establishing a communication procedure with a standardized approach for employees to report cyber attacks and coordinate remediation and recovery attempts is therefore crucial for reducing security breaches. According to communication plans, employees should understand to whom they should report suspicious behaviour within the firm and to external regulators. Failure to properly notify security breaches can expose firms to fines and long-term negative consequences like downtime and financial losses.

5) Maintain clarity and simplicity. | Incident Response Practices

Incident Response plans should be comprehensive but must also be straightforward and simple to grasp for staff. When it comes to efficiently managing incident reactions, a comprehensive plan can be detrimental. Instead of developing Incident Response plans on your own, it may be in your organization’s best interest to employ a managed service provider’s assistance or adhere to Incident Response Frameworks developed by NIST or SANS.

6) Apply Lessons Learned documentation.

Security incidents teach us a lot. Following the implementation of your organization’s incident response plan to deal with a security event, it is critical that your security team documents all evidence and reflects on how effective the strategy was in execution. This helps staff to transform a crisis into a learning opportunity for the entire firm. In addition, the incident response team should regularly analyze incident response operations and record data such as the number of security incidents per month, the average time to detection, and the average time to resolution. Tracking these and other relevant indicators over time can assist evaluate an organization’s Incident Response effectiveness.

7) Test and update Your Incident Response Practices regularly.

While you can’t thoroughly test your incident response plan when there isn’t an issue (fortunately), you can set up a staging environment to execute your plan. This will allow you to spot any errors or flaws in your document and correct and redo it on time.

Depending on the frequency of legislative changes and internal company changes, updating the strategy once or twice a year would ensure that it is always up to date and ready to be implemented when needed. In addition, ensure that your security measures are frequently updated and that you adhere to the most recent expert suggestions and best practices.

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