Top 3 Benefits of Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan

Cyber incidents are at the forefront of executives’ minds, earning the number one spot in a recent report that ranked business concerns. Approximately 44% of respondents indicated cyber incidents are a primary concern for their organization. Surprisingly, concern over cyber incidents outranked concerns about general business disruption, which came in at 42%. 

Cybersecurity incidents can have devastating effects. For example, these incidents can leak sensitive information, destroy data, or bring down your entire network. 

An incident response plan can help mitigate these damaging effects by responding to them quickly. An effective response plan can even stop an incident before it’s successful. Fortunately, you don’t need to create an incident response plan from scratch. Instead, the NIST incident response plan gives you a foundation to follow that can be customized as needed. 

Before you start crafting your plan, it’s worth honing in on defining a cybersecurity incident and exploring the top business benefits of creating an incident response plan. Understanding these benefits will also help earn executive buy-in — a vital element to the success of any cybersecurity strategy. Read on to learn why an incident response plan is worth developing. 

Top 3 Benefits of Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan

What Represents a Cybersecurity Incident?

“Incident” is an overall category describing a cyber event that may potentially harm a company asset, including successful and unsuccessful attacks. 

An incident also describes both intentional and unintentional events. For example, an intentional incident might be a malicious actor trying to penetrate your network, while unintentional attacks can be an employee accidentally deleting data. Both are considered incidents in a cybersecurity context. 

Top 3 Benefits of a Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan

Crafting an incident response plan allows your organization to prepare ahead of time for potential scenarios rather than reacting to them on the fly. 

How will your company respond if a bad actor gains access to sensitive information? Or an employee enables a ransomware attack by clicking on the wrong link in an email? How will you protect a partner’s systems should a malicious attack harm your own?

An incident response plan helps you create a playbook to follow in these scenarios. These plans are a vital part of your overall risk mitigation strategy. Let’s dive into the core benefits of having these plans ready to go when they’re needed. 

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1. Reduce Downtime Caused by Incidents

A quality response plan contains detailed steps to recover from cyber incidents. For example, these steps might include each employee’s actions, what systems need isolation, and how to put recovery systems in place. 

Following your incident response plan steps allows the security team to follow a systematic approach to respond to successful incidents. As a result, downtime from successful attacks will be reduced, allowing your company to get back up and running quickly. In addition, security and IT won’t be stuck looking for solutions after the incident and can approach the scenario with a premade strategy instead.

2. Protect Your Regulatory Compliance Status

Most cybersecurity compliance frameworks will require an incident response plan. This general requirement is to ensure that organizations are prepared for an incident rather than focusing narrowly on how to prevent attacks. 

Sectors such as financial services and healthcare are highly regulated and typically face government regulation worldwide. These regulations often require businesses in these sectors to have a robust cybersecurity incident response plan so that services are minimally disrupted, and sensitive data is protected.

3. Build Trust with Partners and Customers

A well-developed cybersecurity incident response plan gives your partners confidence in your ability to protect their systems that may be vulnerable due to your partnership. In addition to your compliance status, a thorough response plan tells partners that you will react rapidly to any incidents that impact your systems — or theirs. 

Your customers might not be aware of your incident response plan, but they’ll likely know about successful incidents that become public knowledge. An incident response plan may allow you to stop an incident before it causes any damage that needs to be made public. Additionally, should a breach occur, how you respond to it will inform the public opinion about your company. 

Best Practices for An Effective Incident Response Plan

An effective response plan describes everything IT and security staff must do to mitigate the damage caused by an incident. Following a few best practices as you develop these plans will help ensure they adequately guide employees through the response process. Impactful best practices include:

  • Craft simple yet well-defined processes: Any IT staff member should be able to pick up a response plan and understand exactly what they need to do, provided they have the proper training. Keep explanations of all procedures and processes to a bare minimum, focusing instead on actionable steps that are easy to follow. 
  • Roles and responsibilities: Ensure the key responders all fully understand their roles and responsibilities. Practice in advance to be sure.
  • Include a communication strategy: Who should know about the breach? Which channels should be employed for communication during the recovery process? Establish clear guidelines for how employees should inform senior management, operations, and outside parties such as law enforcement and the press. Additionally, describe backup communication channels to account for compromised primary channels.
  • Use a template: You don’t need to create your plans from the ground up. Incident response plan templates offered by NIST or other authoritative organizations will give you a significant head start. Of course, you can customize them as necessary to fit your scenarios and unique needs, but you’ll save time by starting with a strong foundation. Additionally, a template can make sure you don’t miss anything important.
  • Test, test, test: Testing is essential throughout the world of cybersecurity, and response plans are no exception. Carry out drills that mimic realistic scenarios to understand how your plan looks in motion. Test your IDS software and other early warning systems to ensure they adequately ring the proper alarms when needed.
  • Embrace a centralized approach: Don’t make your employees log into dozens of different tools to respond to an incident. Instead, create a centralized location for employees to find necessary information, access the response plans, and log incidents. Making use of APIs can help create a central system.

An effective incident response plan will simply yet thoroughly guide IT and security staff through responding to various possible incidents. 

Adopt the Right Platform to Improve Your Incident Response Plan

An incident response plan can save your company resources, prevent reputation damage, and ensure ongoing compliance. However, an effective response plan relies on an up-to-date understanding of your organization’s cyber risks. 

New risks necessitate new plans, while risks that have changed will require plan updates. Utilizing an effective cyber risk management platform will ensure that your cybersecurity incident response plans are updated and ready should an incident occur. 

Centraleyes is an integrated risk management platform that provides deep insights into your cyber ecosystem via comprehensive automated risk and compliance assessments. These insights can guide effective response plans and ensure they’re ready for any potential scenario. Additionally, Centraleyes creates a central dashboard for vital information that may be necessary to respond to incidents.

Are you ready to improve your response to incidents to ensure compliance and reduce downtime? Book a demo with a cybersecurity expert today to discover how Centraleyes can become a valuable addition to your tech stack.

Start Getting Value With
Centraleyes for Free

See for yourself how the Centraleyes platform exceeds anything an old GRC
system does and eliminates the need for manual processes and spreadsheets
to give you immediate value and run a full risk assessment in less than 30 days

Start building your Cybersecurity Incident Response Program
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