Incident Responses, or IRs are an integral part of cybersecurity. Generally triggered by security system alerts, these IRs are completed when the security team analyzes their content, contains their effect, and mitigates against any future occurrence of similar attacks.

An incident response is a fairly clear, straightforward process to follow. Your cybersecurity system picks up an actual or potential attack on your network and your cybersecurity team moves into action. You follow your security plan and, if all goes well, damage is kept to a minimum. You live to fight another day.

However, there remains one important step in the complete process that often presents issues to cybersecurity teams—how to report those incidents to senior management.

Financial and other elements in the management chain are normally familiar with the general activities of their company’s network. They know when the email server is down, or when a backup helps them find a missing file. However, when it comes to the world of cybersecurity, more often than not, furrowed brows and puzzled looks are the initial response. The reason for this is simple—cyber is just so new. Many IT managers themselves often struggle just to keep a handle on the number of ways hackers can breach their systems. Regularly, their job revolves around putting fingers in dam wall just to prevent cyberattacks from getting through.

The world of management is less concerned with Internet protocols and attack vectors than it is about staffing levels, profits, and the overall bottom line. As such, they must rely on their colleagues in IT to keep them appraised of cyberattack and defense, but in language they can comprehend.

In order to address this requirement, Cynet, a leading global supplier of cybersecurity solutions has produced an IR Management Reporting template. This tool, built in Microsoft PowerPoint format, enables Information Security Officers to present a clear picture of cybersecurity achievements in their companies.

The focus of this template centers on the following perspectives:

  • Indication of the root cause of an incident
  • Evidence that an incident is under control

The template is designed to present the level of control that existed before an incident occurred as well as an illustration of the confidence that similar incidents cannot happen again.

A clear delineation of the damage that a recent attack has caused to the systems and data of the company is also a key vector outlined by the template. This information is essential in determining future mediation steps and, all importantly, what implications it might have on the IT budget.

Cynet’s IR template is arranged into the following sections:

Identification: Illustrates the origin of the cyberattack, and whether it arose from within the company or via an external source. This section highlights the risks involved to the company and whether the attack can be handled in-house, or whether the services of a 3rd-party Managed Detection Response team would be required.

Containment: This section explains how the company reacted to the attack and how well structural damage was minimized. It defines all of the internal elements involved including software, hardware, and network infrastructure, and any damage caused during subsequent periods of downtime.

Eradication: Indication of how quickly and completely existing company resources were able to clean up damage to system data as well as the effect that the attack had on overall company business activity.

Recovery: A report on the length of time it took for the company to return to levels of regular operation.

Lessons Learned: The postmortem phase that provides an overall account of damage to the company and recommendations on how to avoid future reoccurrence of similar attacks.

The template is clear, simple-to-follow, and can be customized to the management structure and services of your company. A number of the steps specified above can be combined, with a high level of flexibility enabling the tool to fit to most companies.

No matter how well your IT and management department levels operate in their own spheres, what is vital is that communication between them is smooth, efficient, and comprehensive. To that end, Cynet’s Security Incident Response template has been designed to strengthen the IT-Management bond.

Click here to download Cynet’s IR Reporting to Management template.