cybersecurity responseA response strategy is the last thing that you need to worry about during a cybersecurity incident. This is why Incident Response plans (IR) are designed to prevent this exact situation. They provide a clear protocol to respond to cyberattacks and unauthorized software/hardware changes. The IR plan should be drafted if there are doubts as to the security, integrity, confidentiality or security of your business data. To ensure that your clients, employees, and business IP are protected, your IR plan should include both your legal and technical teams. These are the six most important incident response steps you should take if there is a security breach or another event.

6 Essential Steps to Respond to Cybersecurity Incidents

1. Prepare your systems for 24-hour responsiveness

Someone must be alert for an attack in order to be prepared. Adtek Advanced Technologies monitors threats 24 hours a day, including logs, track network and Office 365 threats. SOC and other related systems will alert members of your team in the event of a security event. A designated team should be established within your organization to assess and identify threats 24×7. They will be able to access sensitive applications and intellectual property during a cyberattack and can assist in the recovery process. Cyber attacks can be unpredictable. However, having a plan and a set of responders can help reduce the damage.

2. Identify the Cyber Threat

The earlier a threat can be identified, the better. Your IT team must know whether the threat is external or internal and what its success rate in evading existing defensive measures. Some important data points include:

  • The current status of the incident
  • Date/time at which the incident took place
  • Description of the incident (e.g. How it was detected and what happened
  • If known, the source/cause of incident – hostnames and IP addresses
  • Description of the affected resources – hostnames, IP addresses, type of system, and so on.

3. Escalate the Incident

cybersecurity rock hill SCIt can be useful to create a framework for escalation in the event of system/data compromise. These priority levels can be used to identify the respondents and time frames for their response. They also provide methods of communication. These are just three examples of incident prioritization and the expectations around each:

High Priority

This level is for high-risk incidents that could cause severe damage to an organization. This includes data and system compromises, Direct Denial of Service attacks (DDoS), computer viruses, or other similar incidents. These threats require immediate intervention.

Medium Priority

This type of incident affects multiple data sources, where confidential data appears to be read, modified, destroyed, or altered by an unauthorized user. Examples of such incidents are malware outbreaks, attacks on specific servers, unauthorized scanning activity, and systems communicating with bad threats vectors. Medium priority events are not likely to cause business disruption if they are handled correctly.

Low Priority

This classification refers to alerts that are contained in a single or limited number of machines from a single data source. This could include system infections and malware alerts from user browsing activity. These incidents are considered “low priority” if they don’t appear to have any impact on confidential information.

4. Limit the damage

Your Incident Response Plan must include containment. There are many strategies to achieve this goal, depending on the threat. There are two main types of containment: short-term or long-term. A short-term containment could be as simple as blocking traffic from compromised servers or isolating the network device under attack. Your team might apply temporary patches to the targeted system. During the recovery stage, they may also build a new system.

5. Eliminate the Source

This is the best time to determine the source of the attack, eliminate malware, and create prevention cybersecurity strategies. If weak authentication was the entry point, then replacing it with multifactor authentication would be considered elimination. This stage builds on containment by eliminating threats identified from your network or endpoint of your application.

6. Recover your Operations

To prevent another incident from happening, systems are carefully restored to normal operation. This is when systems are restored to their original state before the incident. This stage is where backups are crucial. They will help your team restore your computing environment. Contact Adtek Advanced Technologies to learn more about how you can recover from a cybersecurity attack.