You Need an Incident Response Plan. Hyper Can Help.

Pandemic, murder hornets . . . what’s next? No one should be surprised by now that anything can happen. And when it comes to your network, the same holds true: anything can happen. Whether you experience virtual threats (like a cyber attack) or physical threats (like an outage), losing functionality and data can damage your business. 

An incident response plan helps you mitigate risk and prepare for a wide range of events that can threaten your network. Here are answers to common questions about this critical component of business network security. 

What is an incident response plan? 

So if it’s a matter of when, not if, you’ll experience some kind of business-disrupting network event, it’s crucial to have a plan in place.

An incident response plan is a strategy for identifying, responding to, and recovering from network security events. The plan is meant to address disruptions caused by hackers, service outages, data loss, and more. While your organization’s incident response plan will be unique to your needs, a typical plan includes the following: 

  • An outline of each incident response team member’s responsibilities. 
  • A business continuity plan.
  • A list of essential technologies, tools, and resources. 
  • A summary of critical network and data recovery processes.
  • External and internal communication processes. 
  • Documentation procedures.

Who’s responsible for incident response? 

The last thing you want to do in a crisis is try to assemble a team on the fly. Instead, your organization should designate a CIRT, or computer incident response team (CIRT). This team is typically made up of IT staff members who gather and analyze incident-related data. But including members of other departments, such as legal, communications, and human resources, as part of the CIRT can help make sure you stay compliant and streamline recovery. 

It may not be necessary for every employee to understand every aspect of the incident response plan. But everyone should know what it is and why it’s important. Educating employees about security best practices can help protect against security breaches.  

What does effective incident response look like?

From planning to identification to recovery, effective incident response should move through a specific—and thorough—process. Take a look at the following steps (summarized from the 20-page Sans Institute manual) to see how a successful incident response should play out.  

 

Effective Incident Response

Don’t know where to start? Hire an expert.

Any incident response plan begins with a thorough network assessment. In other words, take stock of what you have and what’s at stake. That way you can prioritize backups and make sure you have a “plan B” for your most essential components, including software, hardware, and staff responsibilities. 

The next step is to identify vulnerabilities in your system and shore them up. Address single points of failure with redundancies and software failover features. 

Lastly, think about workforce continuity. The pandemic gave thousands of businesses a crash course in remote work technologies. But, of course, that’s just one (extreme) scenario. During a security breach or natural disaster, you may not have access to some processes or locations. You can limit business downtime and help ensure employee safety by building out your remote work infrastructure with things like cloud technologies and secure VPNs. 

If it’s all starting to seem like too much to tackle, or you want your IT staff focused on the important tasks they’re already doing, consider hiring a security partner, like Hyper Networks. We can create a custom security solution that makes sense for your business. 

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