Five Phases of a Cyber Incident Response

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As you prepare to depart after a demanding workday, discovering that your email credentials have been compromised and critical data has been unlawfully accessed can present a significant challenge for your business. Prompt and efficient action is essential to mitigate the repercussions on your business. Protracted response times to cyber incidents can exacerbate the damage inflicted by cybercriminals, potentially resulting in substantial data loss, financial setbacks, and reputational harm. 

Hence, developing and implementing a Cyber Incident Response (CIR) plan is imperative. An incident response plan delineates a series of procedures to be executed in case of a breach, aiming to minimize its impact and expedite restoring normal business operations.

Five Phases of a CIR

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), incident response has five phases:

  1. Identify: Numerous security risks must be aware of in order to develop an effective incident response plan. These include threats to your technology systems, data, and operations, among other things. Understanding these risks allows you to better respond to incidents and reduce their impact. To identify risks, you can start by examining system logs, vulnerable files, or suspicious employee activity.
  2. Protect: Creating and implementing appropriate safeguards to protect your business is critical. Safeguards include security measures to guard against threats and steps to ensure the continuity of essential services in the event of an incident. To protect your business against cyber threats, you can use backups, implement security controls such as firewalls, and train employees on security best practices.
  3. Detect: Quickly detecting irregularities, such as unusual network activity or someone attempting to access sensitive data, is essential to limit the damage and get your systems back up and running faster. Deploying techniques such as intrusion detection systems (ISDs) is an effective way to tackle irregularities.
  4. Respond: You need to plan to respond to detected cyber incidents. This plan should include strategies for breach containment, investigation and resolution. To respond to an incident, you can isolate affected systems and cut off access to every impacted system.
  5. Recover:  Following an incident, you must have a plan to resume normal business operations as soon as possible to minimize disruption.

These steps could be part of your recovery plan:

  • Restoring systems that have been affected by the attack
  • Implementing security controls to prevent the incident from happening again
  • Investigating the root cause of the event
  • Taking legal action against perpetrators

Remember that a well-crafted incident response plan will help you resolve a breach, minimize the damage caused, and restore normal operations quickly and effectively. In case of a breach, it’s critical to ensure that all staff know the plan and their roles and responsibilities. An incident response plan should be reviewed and updated regularly to remain relevant and effective. Cyber incidents can occur anytime, so it’s crucial to be prepared.

Collaborate to ramp up your defences

A specialist cybersecurity service provider like us may be exactly what your business needs to develop an incident response plan. By employing our expertise and experience, we can help you protect your business against cyber incidents and create a comprehensive CIR plan. 

These are just a few ways we can help you with your incident response journey. Contact us to schedule a no-obligation consultation if you want help to protect your business against cyber incidents. 

Don’t wait for a security breach to happen. Our team has years of experience and expertise to ensure the safety of your data. Take charge of your defence and response plan now by scheduling a no-obligation consultation with our team of experts. Consider leveraging the support of a service provider like us. Not only can we secure and optimize your network, but also help your business achieve sustained growth. Ready to transform your network challenges into opportunities? Contact us today to schedule a no-obligation consultation at 

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Terry Cutler

I’m Terry Cutler, the creator of Internet Safety University, an educational system helping to defend corporations and individuals against growing cyber threats. I’m a federal government-cleared cybersecurity expert (a Certified Ethical Hacker), and the founder of Cyology Labs, a first-line security defence firm headquartered in Montréal, Canada. In 2020, I wrote a bestselling book about the secrets of internet safety from the viewpoint of an ethical hacker. I’m a frequent contributor to National & Global media coverage about cyber-crime, spying, security failures, internet scams, and social network dangers families and individuals face daily.