An Incident Response Policy is a critical document that outlines the structured approach an organization follows when responding to and managing a cyber security incident. This policy serves as a roadmap for the Incident Response Team, detailing the composition of the team, the specific responsibilities of each member, and the protocols for communicating during an incident. It specifies the strategies for utilizing tools and techniques to address and mitigate security breaches and establishes a clear chain of command, ensuring that there is no ambiguity about who is responsible for overseeing the enforcement of the policy.
By setting these guidelines, an organization ensures that it can react swiftly and effectively to security incidents, minimizing potential damage and facilitating a speedy recovery.
An incident response policy should cover at least the following six phases:
Related content: read our guide to incident response process.
The following tips will help you define a more effective incident response policy.
Incident response policies should be regularly revised to keep up with new cybersecurity technologies and techniques, and new threats facing the organization. The document should be general enough to cover all types of incidents the organization is likely to face. When a specific type of incident occurs, lessons learned from it should be added to the relevant part of the policy.
Successful creation and implementation of incident response strategies requires close collaboration between departments. Responding to large scale incidents, especially those with financial consequences, requires the involvement of legal teams, public relations, human relations, customer support, senior management, and more.
All relevant stakeholders—both internal and external—should participate in incident response policy planning. By allowing all stakeholders a say in the planning of the policy, you are more likely to capture the relevant steps to take in a real event, and ensure closer cooperation with stakeholders when a breach occurs.
Related content: read our guide to building an incident response team.
Use the following metrics to monitor the performance of your organization’s incident response team:
An incident response plan sets up procedures to ensure early identification of incidents, and timely response, to prevent data breaches that can result in service outages, loss or theft of data, unauthorized access, or other damage.
Plans cannot be effective without dedicating personnel to execute them. In larger organizations, a dedicated Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) is set up, composed mainly of security staff and IT staff trained on the relevant skills. In smaller organizations, an incident response team can be assembled using part-time contribution from employees in other roles, often complemented by outsourced incident response vendors.
The response team is at the focus of an incident and communicates their findings, activities, and conclusions to legal, law and press agencies, other concerned stakeholders, and affected customers.
An incident response service can assist an organization in detecting, responding, and mitigating cybersecurity threats. In its basic form, service providers are paid a retainer or per-incident fee, and respond to high-profile breaches within a timeframe dictated by a Service Level Agreement (SLA).
Incident response services can also address ongoing minor incidents, remove ransomware, malware, and the like, and hunt for existing or potential threats or vulnerabilities. Most providers follow through with post-breach investigations.
Incident Response Automation
Cynet provides a holistic solution for cybersecurity, including Cynet Response Orchestration which can automate your incident response policy. Users can define automated playbooks, with pre-set or custom remediation actions for multiple attack scenarios.
Cynet Response Orchestration can address any threat that involves infected endpoints, malicious processes or files, attacker-controlled network traffic, or compromised user accounts.
Incident Response Services
Cynet provides Incident Response (IR) services that add deep security experience to its world-class incident response platform. Cynet’s proactive 24/7 security team acts as your extended team, identifying incidents, leading any required analysis, and responding on your behalf. Our incident response services provide:
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