A cyber-security incident response plan goes beyond simply trying to block attackers and closing off modes of access when a breach occurs. These are just two general components of a comprehensive approach to incident response. There are three broad stages in any effort to ensure that a core network remains as secure as possible.
Stage One: Preventative Methods
Prevention starts with running current security software with current intelligence on known threats on every level of a network, from core systems all the way down to endpoints or devices. Promoting a basic level of awareness about how phishing schemes work can be useful, but a combination of education and technical protections are needed for attack prevention. One of the best preventative methods can be retaining a trusted cyber-security provider. Some security services offer tiers that amount in reduced rates in the eventuality of a breach requiring a large-scale response.
Stage Two: Threat Identification and Response
A quick deployment of investigative technology is necessary when a zero-day threat occurs. These new threats do not have existing automated responses and software patches are not yet available. An attack must be analyzed in real-time and documentation should be produced for further forensic analysis. Depending on the security service, this stage of an incident response plan may occur on the physical premises or be executed through cloud or virtual systems. Infected endpoints can be contained to limit lateral spread or escalation. Once a threat has been assessed and protective measures have been implemented, a cyber-security provider can assist an organization with remediation.
Stage Three: Remediation and Crisis Management
Remediation involves dealing with the results of a breach and may extend to broad-based crisis management. A security firm with extensive experience in incident response can help an enterprise or organization disclose the extent and nature of an attack and respond to concerns. The image of this entity may be preserved through suitable public relations work, as well as specific steps taken to improve its security posture.
The most effective incident response plan combines preventative methods with timely threat identification and a suitable response. A complete plan is likely to involve collaboration between a network security department at the affected entity and a cyber-security firm, particularly when it comes to the tools being used and the response to breaches when they occur. This firm should be familiar with all of these stages and able help enterprises or organizations ensure that they are prepared for a security crisis.