The Cynet 360 platform is the world’s fastest IR tool and includes automated attack detection and remediationLearn More
An incident response team is responsible for responding to cyber security incidents, such as data breaches, cyber attacks, and system failure.
Incident response teams are composed of different roles, typically including a team leader, communications liaison, a lead investigator, as well as analysts, researchers, and legal representatives.
There are three main types of incident response teams—Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT), Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), and Security Operations Center (SOC). This article explains how each team differs, what to consider when creating an incident response team, and best practices for choosing roles and tools.
In this article, you will learn:
An incident response team, also called an incident response unit, is a group responsible for planning for and responding to IT incidents, including cyber attacks, systems failures, and data breaches. These teams can be also responsible for developing incident response plans, searching for and resolving system vulnerabilities, enforcing security policies, and evaluating security best practices.
Incident response teams may be referred to by several names, often used interchangeably. In general, these teams perform similar tasks although there are differences. Some forms that incident response teams can take include:
To build an incident response team, you need to start with the right people and skill sets. The most effective teams include a wide variety of professionals to help manage all aspects of an incident and provide a broad range of expertise. Incident response team roles often include:
When creating and managing your team, you can use an incident response template. These templates are not complete incident response plans, but can serve as a good starting point.
When creating your team, there are a few considerations you should keep in mind. These considerations can help you ensure that your team is able to collaborate effectively and can help reduce gaps in expertise and functioning.
Once your team is assembled, they’re ready to start preparing for and handling IT incidents. Unfortunately, even with extensive preparation, incident response can feel overwhelming, especially for immature teams. To help develop your team’s skills, you can start by training them to implement the following practices.
Supplement tools with insight
While technology is a great help in detecting incidents, it can’t detect all suspicious events and is most effective when assisted by the insight of cyber security teams. In particular, teams may be better at investigating:
In assessing these issues, teams may find tools such as user and entity behavioral analytics (UEBA) solutions helpful. These tools can create or be fed baselines of “acceptable” behavior and alert teams when a deviant event occurs. Teams can then use the information provided by these tools to evaluate the event. They can also try to improve future tool responses by using the results to refine functioning.
Use a centralized approach
Centralizing your efforts makes most aspects of incident response easier. In particular, this includes monitoring and logging information, and cyber security or management tooling.
Centralizing information makes analysis of data easier and increases the accuracy of results by providing context for the events being evaluated. The most common way to achieve this type of centralization is with system information and event management (SIEM) solutions. These solutions can ingest data from across your systems and aggregate it into a single source.
Centralization of tooling makes it easier for teams to manage configurations and maintain systems. It also enables teams to respond more efficiently since they don’t have to constantly switch between tools to accomplish a task. One way of achieving this is with cyber security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) solutions. These solutions enable you to ingest alert information, automate protective measures, and standardize responses system wide.
Base your actions on evidence
When you receive a cyber security alert you may be quick to jump to conclusions about whether the alert is important, what caused it, or how to address it. However, teams should avoid acting on these gut reactions and instead take the time to investigate events properly.
Casually dismissing an event can lead to oversight that later leads to a more significant attack, such as an advanced persistent threat. Likewise, following an assumption about what caused an alert or how to remediate it without first confirming your suspicions can end up causing damage or result in an insufficient response.
By taking the time to carefully investigate events can better ensure that your incident identification is accurate. Then you can respond effectively and efficiently without wasting effort or putting systems or workloads at risk.
Cynet understands that building and managing an incident response team is not a viable option for all organizations. This is why, in addition to providing incident response automation, Cynet offers on-demand incident response services.
CyOps, Cynet’s Cyber SWAT team, is on call 24/7/365, allowing enterprises of all sizes to get access to the same expert security staff that protect the largest enterprises. Here’s what you can expect from the CyOps incident response team:
Learn how the Cynet Autonomous Breach Protection platform and the CyOps 24/7 incident response team can help you.