The incident response process includes these 7 steps.
- Preparation: This involves laying the groundwork for an effective incident response plan. This includes establishing a full map of your infrastructure, identifying your most critical assets, evaluating and mitigating risk, and defining a communication plan.
- Identification: When you identify a security incident, what process and tools do you have in place for evaluating it? Who are the key stakeholders? To whom do you assign clear roles and responsibilities?
- Analysis: Document the extent, priority, and impact of a breach to see which assets were affected and if the incident requires attention.
- Containment: Address the root cause of the incident. This may involve patching a vulnerability to eliminate an entry point, removing access from a bad actor, or air-gapping an infected system.
- Eradication: Next, flush the threat from your systems. The process here will vary depending on the nature of the incident.
- Recovery: Finally, this step involves a return to regular business operations.
- Monitoring and Reporting: Reporting, meeting with stakeholders, and ongoing monitoring for process effectiveness.
The preparation stage is arguably the most important step and will serve as the foundation for the rest of the incident response phases. The preparation stage requires these steps:
- Ensuring your entire organization receives proper training on security and incident response steps and policies.
- Ensuring everyone in your organization understands their role and responsibilities in an incident.
- Establish a comprehensive cyber incident response policy that summarizes the above.
- Drafting process documents that detail every phase of your incident response.
- Establish a framework for running regular simulations and evaluations of your incident response plans.
- Develop an information security policy.
- Ensure you have visibility into and control over all critical assets.
- Ensure you have proper data hygiene and know where your sensitive information resides.
- Establish a risk management strategy, including regular risk assessments.
- Deploy the proper tools for monitoring, managing, and mitigating an incident.
- Store all data and documentation related to your incident response plan in a central location, accessible to everyone who needs the information.
- Determine all incidents your business may potentially face, and the flags that can be used to identify an emerging incident.
- Prepare public statements and alert templates.
- Establish a reporting and auditing process for incidents.
- Identifying key stakeholders, including regulatory agencies. Involve your legal and compliance teams in this stage.
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