While a major part of cybersecurity involves protecting your business from threats, you should also be prepared for what to do should you fall victim to cybercrime. A successful cyberattack can cost millions of dollars in data loss, legal penalties, and reputational damage, and if you’re not prepared, your company’s survival could be in jeopardy.
Being prepared means having a set of procedures that define what you and your staff are supposed to do in order to contain and recover from the attack. This blog explores three ways you can better prepare for a cybersecurity incident.
1. Develop an incident response plan
An incident response plan is a formal document outlining what steps an organization will take when faced with various security incidents such as malware infections, data breaches, and denial-of-service attacks. A well-developed incident response plan reduces the damage caused by a security incident and mitigates further loss. It will also help your company recover more quickly and efficiently from the incident while complying with regulations.
Below are some important elements to consider when creating an effective incident response plan:
- Types of security incidents – Knowing what kind of security incidents are most likely to affect your company means you can prepare for them by allocating resources and developing strategies to address them. Conduct risk and vulnerability assessments to determine what types of attacks are more likely to affect your business. For instance, remote work arrangements may invite problems such as misplaced company devices or man-in-the-middle attacks. By understanding these risks, you can create a more tailored plan that allows for faster and more efficient incident response.
- Your company assets and resources – Your plan should align with your company’s capabilities and priorities. This allows you to allocate resources efficiently to minimize downtime and safeguard your critical assets.
- Your company’s risk tolerance – In cybersecurity, achieving zero risk is impossible. When crafting an incident response plan, you need to strike a balance between investing in security measures and accepting a certain level of risk. Knowing your risk tolerance will help you come up with a plan that aligns with your company’s overall strategic objectives and risk management strategy.
- Stakeholder involvement – It’s important to involve everyone in your incident response plan, not just the cybersecurity team. Everyone, from top executives to frontline staff, must understand their responsibilities during a cybersecurity incident and must know the recovery procedures to keep damage to a minimum.
- Regulatory requirements – Your plan should comply with legal and industry standards so that you minimize the risk of penalties. That way, you keep your customers’ trust and protect your reputation.
2. Train your staff
Make sure everyone on your staff knows their roles and responsibilities during a security incident, as outlined in your incident response plan. Provide them with the three types of incident response training:
- Awareness training – This type of training provides your staff with a basic understanding and appreciation of security threats and your incident response plan. It helps foster a security-conscious culture within your company, wherein your staff can recognize risks, report them immediately, and respond accordingly.
- Role-specific training – This type of training provides your staff with the knowledge and skills they need to carry out their specific roles and responsibilities in the plan.
- Tabletop exercises – These exercises simulate real-world security incidents, allowing your staff to practice their incident response skills in a controlled environment.
Whatever training you select, it should always be tailored to the needs of your company and
should be regularly updated and refreshed to stay effective.
The training scenarios should mirror the kinds of incidents your staff will most likely encounter. For example, IT staff can focus on scenarios related to network breaches, while HR personnel can address employee data breaches. What’s more, training should be interesting, using a variety of training methods, such as lectures, hands-on exercises, and simulations.
3. Test your incident response plan regularly
Regularly testing your incident response plan addresses any shortcomings in planning and preparation while also keeping your staff up to date on their roles and responsibilities. When testing your incident response plan, consider the following:
- Make sure that the testing simulations are realistic and challenging. You can even develop a test of how a team responds to a high-pressure situation when their boss or superior is not available.
- Involve key stakeholders from across the company in the testing process.
- Make the simulations measurable. Set clear goals. Monitor key metrics, such as how quickly issues are resolved and to what extent tasks are accomplished.
- Review the results of the tests and make the necessary adjustments to the incident response plan.
Improve your IT preparedness with us
Incident response preparedness is crucial for any business that wants to protect its assets and reputation from security incidents. But coming up with an incident response plan can be overwhelming. In fact, IT management and security are best left to IT professionals. Let our experts at Online Computers take care of your cybersecurity and IT concerns. We provide intelligent IT solutions with a devoted service touch, so you can focus more on managing your business. Contact us today.