Respond to a Cybersecurity Event With a Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan

Preparation is critical to an effective response to a cybersecurity event. As the saying goes, "Fail to prepare, prepare to fail." By having a plan in place, you can minimize the damage caused by the event and get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.
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written by posted on May 4, 2022

Respond to a Cybersecurity Event With a Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan

Preparation is critical to an effective response to a cybersecurity event. As the saying goes, “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” By having a plan in place, you can minimize the damage caused by the event and get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.

By taking the time to develop and practice an incident response plan, your organization can be better prepared to face a cybersecurity event. Incident response always depends on the specific circumstances. Responding to a phishing attack will be different than responding to a ransomware attack. However, some general steps should be taken in any cybersecurity incident.

Preparation

The key to preparation is having a plan. By having a Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan in place, you can properly conduct a risk assessment and take steps to mitigate the effects of an incident. A Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan should be tailored to your organization’s specific needs. It should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that it remains relevant.

The plan should be developed in consultation with stakeholders from all parts of the organization, including IT, legal, HR, and executive management. This includes developing a communication plan and identifying the incident response team’s point of contact. It is also important to have a clear understanding of your organization’s cybersecurity posture. This includes understanding what systems and data are most critical to your business and how vulnerable they are to attack.

By understanding your cybersecurity posture, you can prioritize your response in the event of an incident. Your Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan should also include an analysis of your organization’s incident response resources, including the following:

  • Technical capabilities
  • Staffing
  • Tools and equipment
  • Training

The Incident Response plan should be well-documented and easy to understand so that it can be quickly implemented in the event of an incident. If your organization does not have a Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan, there are many resources available to help you develop one. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a Cybersecurity Framework that can be used to develop a cybersecurity incident response plan. If you need help developing an incident response plan tailored to your needs, you can contact Envizion IT and we will be happy to assist you.

Identification

Identifying the cybersecurity event is the first step in incident response. This can be difficult, as many cybersecurity events go undetected. However, some indicators can help you identify a cybersecurity event.

Some indicators that may indicate a cybersecurity event include:

  • Unexplained changes in system configuration
  • Unexplained changes in user behavior
  • Unexpected system instability
  • Loss or theft of equipment
  • Suspicious network activity
  • Unexplained changes in data

If you suspect that a cybersecurity event has occurred, the first step is to contain the incident. This includes identifying and isolating the affected systems. When our clients are faced with containment after a cybersecurity event, the team at Envizion IT takes the following steps to contain the incident:

  • Disconnect the affected system from the network
  • Establish a perimeter around the affected system
  • Collect forensics data
  • Preserve evidence

Once the incident has been contained, you can start to assess the damage. How many systems were affected? What type of data was compromised? Answering these questions will help you determine the next steps in your response.

Causation

After you have identified and contained the incident, you will need to determine the cause. This is important, as it will help you to prevent future incidents. There are many possible causes of cybersecurity incidents, including human error, malicious software, and hardware failures.

To determine the cause of the incident, you will need to collect data. This data can be collected from a variety of sources, including system logs, network traffic, and user reports. Once you have collected the data, you will need to analyze it to determine the cause of the incident.

Many tools and techniques can be used to perform incident analysis. Some common tools include packet sniffers, Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), and log analysis tools. When we perform incident analysis for our clients, we examine a variety of data sources to help determine the cause of the incident. These data sources include:

  • System logs
  • Network traffic
  • User reports

After we have collected and analyzed the data, we provide our clients with a report that includes our findings and recommendations. For our clients, we also examine if the organization has control of certain aspects, such as :

  • Employee access to systems and data
  • System configuration
  • Change management procedures
  • Security controls

This will ensure there is visibility and control of cybersecurity events, so changes can be made if needed. Once the cause of the incident has been determined, our clients can begin taking steps to prevent future incidents.

Elimination

After you have determined the cause of the incident, you will need to take steps to eliminate the cause. This can be difficult, as many cybersecurity incidents are caused by human error. The goal is to eliminate the cause, so that future incidents can be prevented. There are many possible actions that you can take to eliminate the cause of the incident. The elimination of the cause must be verified.

Our incident response process will consist of:

  • Removing malware from infected systems
  • Identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities
  • Updating software to patch vulnerabilities
  • Restricting access to systems and data
  • Changing passwords
  • Implementing security controls
  • Providing user training
  • Evaluating and updating incident response plans

These are just a few of the possible actions that can be taken to eliminate the cause of the incident. The specific actions that are taken will depend on the cause of the incident.

Recovery

To fully recover from the cybersecurity incident, you need to establish a detailed recovery plan. This recovery plan can be used to determine the steps that need to be taken to restore your systems and data.

The first step in the recovery process is to identify which systems and data were affected by the incident. Once you have identified the affected systems, you can start to restore them. In some cases, it may be possible to restore the systems from backups. If you do not have backups, you will need to manually recreate the lost data.

Once the systems have been restored, you can start to focus on preventing future incidents. This includes implementing new cybersecurity measures and employee training.

Envizion IT Can Help You Apply an Incident Response Framework

Cybersecurity incidents are a reality for businesses of all sizes. By following a proper incident response plan, you can minimize the damage caused by an incident. The steps we have outlined are only a few of the possible steps that can be taken in response to a cybersecurity incident. The specific steps that you take will depend on the type and severity of the incident.

If you have experienced a cybersecurity incident, or if you want to be prepared for one, we can help. Our team of cybersecurity experts can help you assess the damage, recover from the incident, and prevent future incidents. Contact us today to get started.