Incident Response Plan (IRP)
An incident response plan (IRP) is a set of written instructions for detecting, responding to and limiting the effects of an information security event.
The primary aim of an incident response plan is to quickly respond to incidents that occur before they turn into a potential threat to the organization. An incident could be defined as any violation of established policy, law, or unacceptable behavior that impact information systems, including computers, networks, and smartphones.
Incident response plans provide instructions for responding to many potential scenarios, including data breaches, denial of service/distributed denial of service attacks, firewall breaches, virus or malware outbreaks or insider threats. Without an incident response plan in place, organizations may either not detect the attack in the first place, or not follow proper protocol to contain the threat and recover from it when a breach is detected.
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There are six key phases of an incident response plan:
- Preparation: preparing users and IT staff to handle potential incidents that might arise
- Identification: determining whether an event is indeed a security incident
- Containment: limiting the damage of the incident and isolating affected systems to prevent further damage
- Eradication: finding the root cause of the incident, removing affected systems from the production environment
- Recovery: permitting affected systems back into the production environment, ensuring no threat remains
- Lessons learned: completing incident documentation, performing analysis to learn from incident and potentially improve future response efforts
Taking the time to develop a vigorous IRP can seem less important than applying those limited resources to more immediate needs. But the consequences of being unprepared when an incident occurs far outweigh the time, effort, and investment in developing a strong incident response plan.
StrataCore works with expert security partners that will help your company create a customized blueprint for quick and efficient response and recovery efforts when the time comes.
Incident Response Plan - Avoid Costly Mistakes
There are several characteristics of an incident response plan that need to be considered when planning its execution. One of the first things to consider is the period that is required to detect and prevent all breaches of system security.
In the event of a major disaster or even a minor incident, it is likely that IT staff will be deployed immediately to contain the problem. These staff members should have the appropriate training to be able to deal with all potential threats and vulnerabilities. However, these professionals are not always on hand, and it may be necessary for them to call in outside resources, including members from the incident management team. When disaster recovery is also planned for, then this can further help to speed up response times.
Another characteristic to look for is a well-defined and effective incident response plan that minimizes the severity of potential losses. This will usually involve a detailed security, and risk assessment, and vulnerability assessment as well as the identification and prioritization of attacks and their causes.
The security team should be given permission, through the procedures of business intelligence (BI) to share this information with the key personnel who are responsible for the safety and security of the enterprise.
It is often difficult to know exactly what actions to take in the case of a cyber-attack.
While there is a certain amount of forethought involved when deciding whether to put a stop to an attack, it is usually easier to know which actions are required under the circumstances.
The list incident response plan should have specific procedures for identifying the nature of the threats and vulnerabilities associated with the activity, and the measures which can be taken to mitigate them. If the potential damages caused exceed the budget set by the organization, then it may be necessary to call in outside help.
Any vulnerability or threat assessment included in the incident response plan should be as comprehensive as possible.
The more steps that are involved in the process, the more time is needed to conduct the analysis required to identify the root causes of the issue. Time is also an issue for businesses that have inadequate IT resources. It can be difficult for even the most experienced IT staff to assess the seriousness of a situation, especially if they are required to take quick action. To minimize the impact to the business, any vulnerability or threat assessment should be performed as quickly as possible.
To save money, organizations should look at incident response plan services to help them create effective strategies. The incident response plan will provide all the information that is required for the organization to determine the effectiveness of its procedures and the effectiveness of its personnel. It can also help to ensure that the procedures in place are being adhered to and are being used in the manner that was originally intended. Once an incident has occurred, it is important to quickly develop a plan for containing the problem and making sure that it does not escalate.